tv U.S. Senate CSPAN February 23, 2011 12:00pm-5:00pm EST
the prime minister claimed this time things were going to be different, but already, president obama is trying to slap a new fee on cay canadians crossing the border. is this why this deal is kept a screet? what other bad news and fees are hiding? we deserve accountability. why won't they get it? [applause] >> the honorable member of the foreign affairs. >> mr. speaker, we responded to this question. we think this is a very bad idea, mr. speaker, particularly at a time when we are working on global economic recovery. we know that that remains fragile and that is the reason why the prime minister and president of the united states got together to develop new ways to increase our economic ties to be able to work, mr. speaker, in finding ways to create new jobs in this country as well as the united states. mr. speaker, we will be able to once again make sure that that
happens. >> the newly appointed governor of tunisia central bank will talk this afternoon in the economy and the wave of unrest sweeping the middle east. the leader was forced to leave last month following widespread trough -- protests. live coverage at 3:30 eastern on c-span. prime time programming beginning on c-span2, a discussion from the world economic forum on the children's health department worldwide. also, the future of public radio and conservatives in a discussion on federal spending. all of that starting at 8 eastern here on c-span2.
>> taking you live to a state department briefing. the associated press reports thousands of foreigners are fleeing the turmoil in libya by air and sea. a charter arrived to take americans to the nearby island. more about that and other state department news coming at 12:15 here on c-span2. in the meantime, washington journal viewer comments on budget debates and protests. >> host: front page of the "wall street journal" suggests that it is crunch time for organized labor. here's what he writes. "labor unions are facing the direct challenge from the anded
midwest vital to democrats and president obama's reelection prospects, republicans are trying to roll back the powers of employee unions, but other groups who represent workers and carpenters. that's the "wall street journal" this morning. i reference the "usa today" polls saying 61% of americans in the new gallop poll favor the rights of public sector unions to collectively bargain. learning more about that in a couple minutes. plus, on the right of governor public sector unions to bargain collectively. a reporter for the wisconsin state journal is on the phone who has been covering the events in the state capitol there since it first began. mary, is this now officially a stalemate? bring us up today on -- up to date on where things
stand. on the phone: yes, it is a stalemate. i think they are on amendment 28 at this point and they are prepared to offer more than 100 amendments to this bill, and many say we're not trying to stall or delay the bill, we are trying to kill the bill, stop it from passing. >> host: the governor's budget bill? on the phone: yes, the one that would effectively end collective bargaining for public employees here leaving it only to negotiations over salaries. >> host: democrats returned to the chamber? on the phone: we have 99 members total, but republicans have the majority of that house. back in the senate, the senate democrats are still on the rim. they are still in illinois the last we heard, held up in a chicago hotel for the most part, but they also have been on the
move. they have not returned and are prepared to stay away as long as necessary. they were not moved by the governor's fire side chat last night, and they are saying that he needs to compromise, not threaten workers with layoffs if he didn't get his way. >> host: well, what tools does each side have at this point to advance their cause? on the phone: you know, the senate democrats see their tool as that this bill can't pass with out at least one of them coming to the chamber because it's a fiscal bill, and they need 20 members present. >> host: theoretically, could they be gone forever? on the phone: gee, i've never seen it come to that. they could be gone a long time, however, in their absence, the republican senators just passed a measure yesterday that says they will now need to pick up their paychecks on the senate floor during session, so we'll see how long they want to stay away without getting any
paychecks or reimbursements or per diem checks, and the republicans don't seem like they are wanting to compromise on this at least not the leadership side that i've spoken too. >> host: does the governor have additional tools? on the phone: the governor asked them multiple times to come back. he said the bill is going to pass, and i'm not going to back down on collectsive bargaining. he is majority in both the house and senate, so it's hard to imagine how if they do have the 20 members for a vote, how it wouldn't pass unless there have been some other proposals by republican senators who have said and introduced, for example, some setting the collective bargaining positions where it would be removed for two years for the budget to be balanced, but then collective bargaining would be fully intact. we'll see if possibly some republican senators step forward
and try to compromise with some of the democrats in an effort to lure them back to wisconsin. >> host: well, thank you, mary for being with us. if this continues, i hope you'll come back and keep us up to date on the state capitol there. on the phone: well, thank you so much for having me. >> host: let me get to you with your thoughts on government and collective bargaining. this call is from maryland on the democrat line. >> caller: the reality of it is this. they are using this economic downturn which they created to enact the same policies that they argued for when the economy was good. it's op op pore tunnist tick. government said 99% of the demands and all he's holding out for is to get rid of the unions. the public sector, i mean,
public sector people are workers overwhelmingly middle class, and here a week ago the ceo of jp morgan got a $17 million and yet our economy is better off taking money from the middle class? i think it's a war on the middle class right now. >> host: robert, independent from atlanta, you're on the air. what's your thoughts on this question in the debate with the unions of the republican governors? grk you know -- >> caller: you know, i think the democrats have the smartest move. the pendulum has to swing both ways, and americans will sit around and really complain but not do anything until their rights are totally gone, and these union things provide so many things that people take for granted, five day workweek, holidays off, child work laws, and these are vital to the middle class and people who want to reach middle class status.
the only unions left are basically the public sector unions. the private sector has done a way with them. i live in a right to work state of georgia. you can see people getting laid off with little consequences whatsoever. i'm afraid that the uprising you see across the globe is going to happen in america if the rich continue to amass wealth and power and prestige in both parties. there's no party representing the american people anymore. the tea party is bought and paid for. the democratic party, there's no party remitting the will of the masses of the people, and even the unions have failed to really take care of the average middle class. look at the people that are shoving the korean free trade. >> host: we have to go. a lot of people want to talk about this morning.
a story saying americans strongly oppose while taking away the bargaining power. the poll found 61% oppose a law in their state similar to wisconsin's and 3 #% favor -- 33% favor the law. the business of comibs editor for that publication writes on the question of public sector unions, americans don't know what they want. the case democrats are winning the battle in wisconsin gets a vetch and they would appose the law like the pun pushed in wisconsin. the polls showing less than a third of the americans think public sector workers should be unionized and consider this should not necessarily translate into weakening unions. does the american government contradict itself? it is large and check out the
key other findings. 71% oppose increasing taxes. 53% oppose pay or benefits for government workers, 48% oppose eliminating government programs. despite the opposition to raise taxes, those surveyed agreed their state faces a budget crisis. 64% said their staid was in budget crisis and 5% were not sure. she writes, we need a new political category, dna's do nothing to anyone. this compromises to the entire american electorat that explains a lot about our government's fiscal policy. governor walker had a fire side chat. let's listen to what he had to say in that. >> the bill i put forward isn't aimed at state workers, and it's not a battle with unions. if it was, we would have eliminated collective bargaining entirely and gone after the
private sector unions, but we did not because they are partners in economic development. we need them to help us put 250,000 people to work in the private sector over the next four years. the legislation i put forward is about one thing. it's about balancing our budget now and in the future. wisconsin faces a $137 million deficit for the remainder of this fiscal year, and a $1.6 billion deficit for the coming budget. it's about protecting the taxpayer, wisconsin females making ends meet and help their children. >> host: back to the messages, here's one by twitter. government unions campaign for funds to help lebt those who negotiate their contracts on management side. isn't this is con -- conflict of interests?
back to the phone. kal, republican, new jersey, go ahead, please. >> caller: i'm a retired substitute teacher, and my husband is a teacher also. we vowed never to be members of the new jersey education unions out here, but they still took $900 out of our pay every year. let me tell you, the unions were needed at one time, but they are not needed anymore. they were needed when everybody was working too many hours and children were being used for labor, but i actually sit behind the desk of these teachers, and i see the incompetence that is protected by the union, the deadwood sits there and gives kids papers to work on, and they sit there and read their newspaper. i can see that because i'm in there looking at their paperwork, looking at their lesson plans, and it is -- for
unions to donate money to campaigns to put people in elections is absolutely wrong, and if the unions are going to survive, they have to be more reasonable because the rest of the public out here like myself now, retired, and i don't get a pension because, of course, i was a substitute teacher, but i bought a little cafe, and now i work 90 hours a week making it survive, and a union person would never understand that. they don't understand how much you work. >> host: how's business in the café? >> caller: it's slow because i it's three to six years before cafes pick up. we're in 18 months. we bought our cafe next to our home, but having the township charge us $80,000 and planning fees gave us a mortgage that we didn't expect to have, and that's the tough part, getting
business open here in new jersey and going through the regulations and everything. nobody, unless they had -- i put my house up for mortgage in order to be able to afford to pay the engineer architect, planners, and i did nothing to the bank other than move in and put in kitchen in. >> host: okay, good luck to you and your new business. a twitter message, please do not ignore which union e he'll allow to negotiate. republican governor said collective bargaining rights in the state will are meant to restore balance to the system, not destroy yiewn yons and right to negotiate their own salary, but we need to let managers be able to determine things like keeping the pension systems healthy, making sure that the cost related to health care are consistent with private sector workers. back to phone calls. philadelphia.
you're on the air, jake, democrat. >> caller: i disagree with the ma'am who spoke earlier. unions, they are needed. who is going to protect the workers? the problem with wisconsin is that they are attacking or going at the problem the wrong way. the tax cuts back in december, and if they are facing $137 million deficit and taxes add up to that deficit and after unions don't want to pay for that, i think everybody has to pitch in here. i mean, i think firefighters, police officers, everyone, not just teachers. unions are here, and they do a very wonderful service to the people in this country, and to suggest they are no longer needed i think is just completely wrong. >> host: thank you for your call from philadelphia. how many people belong to unions? statistics say in 20107.6 --
7.6 million belonged to a union and there are more public sector unions than private sector. it's 36% and the substantially higher than the rate for private sector unions which is 6.9%. back to phone calls, indiana, james, a republican there. good morning. >> caller: good morning. did i miss the big union meeting this weekend where the -- >> host: what are you saying here, james? what do you mean a meeting? >> caller: if it's wrong for the employer to dictate the terms of their pensions and benefits, why is it okay when the union leadership strips away their right to vote on and ratify a proposal and say it's a done deal that they're going to take con senses --
con senses on checks without a vote. >> host: did that happen in indiana? >> caller: no, wisconsin. on friday they were not going to cave in, but on monday, everybody was reporting a done deal. >> host: we're hearing protesters are spreading to your state. what's your view on that? >> caller: i was a state employee when collective bargaining was issued from governor evan, and by executive order, and that was a shady deal because there were a lot of kickback jobs to uaw family members and a quote on quote hiring freeze that 276 additional employees were added during the hiring freeze even though people retired and they did not replace them, and i
personally worked with some of those kickback jobs to the uaw leadership that got evan elected. i could name names, but i choose not to. that was a shady deal, and they promised they would never force us to pay union dues unless they got collective bargaining pass the in the legislature, but it wasn't within a year they were trying to force us to pay union dues. >> host: james from indiana. the washington times say rallying for wisconsin. denver was one of a dozen cities where labor organizers hosted rallies in support of the wisconsin public sector unions against mr. walker in limiting bargaining rights and requiring members to contribute more to the pension and health care plans. there were 500 union supporters representing half dozen labor
groups cheered as they called for mr. walker to resign or withdraw his proposal. johnny, independent, good morning. >> caller: yes, i'm in favor of what they are doing up there in wisconsin. one was a union worker, and one was not. unions are vital. big business will not give you anything. it has -- [inaudible] it has to stop. the banks and big business would be pensions of those union workers, they lost all the money, they want to stop and block the bill, and now because the banks lost all their money and these people have to pay, but the government went right in there and gave the banks $3
trillion and bernanke gave them $3 million to keep them afloat, but we have to pay the mistakes for the big businesses, and you have to take the little you have and pay for their mistakes. it's insane. this country has gone completely insane. >> host: from north carolina. connecticut liberal mom tweets this. legal contracts are bipedding. this has gone on long enough. the department of labor needs to step in and demand compliance. there's a piece about public sector unions titled the battle ahead, the struck with union -- struggle with unions should be not just about spending cuts. the forces are massingment one side is california prison guides, french rail workers, greek civil servants, and teachers everywhere.
on the other side is the tax strapped government of the world. they put unions on the streets and when they expect action, expect much worse. investment relations are back at the heart of politic, not as a clash with federal labor fed up, but as one between taxpayers and what is called the great british liberal call tax eaters. people in the public sector are understanding how much of a banquet they've been having at everybody else's expense. this is the columnist this morning. next, a call from nashville, tennessee, tommy, go ahead, please. >> caller: good morning. i agree with the lady from north carolina, but mr. walker has history with him also here. as a county executive for milwaukee county, he dismissed the security and replaced them with a private company called --
in arbitration recently, i think you might have founding? in the paper about this. the arbitrator said that was illegal and that this is how much mr. walker is going to cost his state that those replacements with private industry, they need to get their public job back with back pay. now, this man, he is taken over a public domain and trying to suit it up for private individuals. it's a disgrace. he should not be -- you have to remember, he's governor of everybody in the state, not just special interests, the police, fire, and the other unions he did not want anything from should be put in the same category as the rest of the
workers, no special interest here. we all play in the same field. thank you. >> host: next up is from arkansas, this is charles, republican, good morning, charles. >> caller: good morning. say, that young lady from new jersey was exactly right, and i'm proud of her to do what she's doing. i don't understand, you have cab drivers, truck drivers, small business owners in wisconsin paying state taxes. they don't get free retirement. they don't get their medical charges paid for. you know, and you look at the right to work states, they are in halfway decent places. union states, the states that have other public employee yiewn yons are in trouble. there's no money left. there's nothing you can do about it, and you got to tell these people no. how can a teacher sitting there
making $8 o ,000 -- $80,000 a year ask a small business owner to pay for their retirement? it just is incredulous they think that's necessary, and the young lady from new jersey is an example of what this country used to be, and the teachers from wisconsin are what russia's going to be or russia was and we're going to be if we don't turn this moneys around. >> host: thank you, sir. have a good day. ..nes register" of story related to this. public kids -- sector workers' pay less than private workers.
berkeley springs, west virginia. russell, independent. you are on a parity, called i was reading -- you are on. caller: i was reading what ralph nader called the two-party dictatorship. right here in west virginia, tonight in berkeley springs, more than one of the people will be gathering to protest the corporate dictatorship and we are having market flowers from physicians for national health program and they will be talked about all that we are spending $700 million a day on iraq and afghanistan. those are two wars the majority of the american people are against. we could use that money here so we are not fighting each other over the crumbs. and dr. flowers is going to be
talking about getting rid of the private health insurance industry so that we can actually cover our people and save money. we can save money by two simple things. bringing the troops home and getting rid of the private health insurance industry. the rebellion -- it is not just these big rallies in wisconsin. we have a small town in the middle of the week the day after a snowstorm and there will be more than 100 people protesting the corporate dictatorship. the rebellion against the corporate dictatorship is spreading and it is all over the country -- not just in these big areas that you are seeing. host: russell from berkeley springs, west virginia. from our e-mail --
stephen, a democrat in kentucky writes -- pennsylvania. good morning. dave is a democrat. you are on. good day to you. caller: good morning. a couple of questions. rs wanting to goi into the labor laws -- saying labor laws for children should not be there anymore. these are people that are running for positions. you have another lady up there in massachusetts winning to go back to sitting there telling people they don't have a minimum wage. this is unreal in this country.
big business takes over everything. i worked in three different places and walked out within days, pointed people and say you are laid off. why am i laid off? we just want to. what do you mean? we got five other people here making a dollar less than you. you are costing us so we want to >> we will go live now to the state department and sheriff spokesman p.j. crowley. >> i'm entitled to 20 minutes anyway. you've moved up. [inaudible] [laughter] >> okay. good afternoon and welcome to the department of state. a number of things to talk about before taking your questions. secretary clinton will meet this afternoon with foreign minister
of brazil, and i would expect there will be two primary issues they talk about. first of all the president's upcoming trip to brazil next month which will be an opportunity for our cooperation and partnership in important areas of mutual interest. and secondly, since brazil is currently the president of the u.n. security council, they'll have the opportunity to talk about libya, reflect on yesterday's very strong statement from the u.n. security council, and is discuss future steps of the international community can take. staying in this region, today marks the one year anniversary of the death of our land of orlando the part of the mile, a cuban political prisoner who died following an 11 week hunger strike calling for the release of his fellow political prisoners in cuba. he was a courageous you managing
who died defending the universal human rights of freedom of expression. he also deplored the continuing intimidation and harassment by the cuban government of activists and their family members, including his mother, who are working to promote human rights on the island. we join with both international and cuban communities in urging the cuban government to immediately and unconditionally release all remaining political prisoners, not just those arrested in the black spring crackdown of 2003. his death highlights the injustice of cuban detention of political prisoners. they should not be released. the united states welcomes his efforts under the -- an agreement to resolve the current dispute between thailand and cambodia. we support the asean foreign ministers called for cambodia and thailand to resume bilateral
negotiations including their existing mechanisms at the earliest possible opportunity. turning to the middle east, undersecretary bill burns completed his trip to cairo and is currently, again got engaging with government leaders and members of civil society to see how the united states can support the ongoing transition in tunisia. also today the department of state together with the department of treasury announced the designation of two iranian officials for serious human rights abuses in iran. these designations underscore our enduring commitment to support iranians seeking to exercise their universal rights and express our solidarity with victims of torture, persecution, and arbitrary detention that iranians will recognize these individuals as two of the most egregious perpetrators of human rights abuses. they are first, in his capacity
as prosecutor general of tehran, he has prostate iranians for exercising their right to freedom of expression and freedom of religion. and in many cases sought and won the death penalty against individuals who were simply exercising their right to peaceful assembly. the second is mohammed mock me. is the commanding general of the basij forces that most recently out, on sunday suppressed protests across iran. the most recent demonstrations are only the latest in a string of actions under his command taken to suppress dissent, and in many cases violently. these individuals are now subject to asset freezes and a visa ban. the united states strongly condemns the arrest by the syrian government of a number of bloggers including -- in
addition to recently others. the syrian government's decision to arrest bloggers is contradictory to recent steps taken by the syrian government to open social media sites to its citizens. the syrian government should adhere to its obligations under the universal declaration of human rights guaranteeing its citizens freedom of opinion and expression, as was the right to a fair trial and to immediately release all imprisoned bloggers. turning now to libya -- [inaudible] speak of last week when the teenage woman was sentenced,. [inaudible] >> being a spy for the u.s. embassy in cairo. anything about that? >> i'm not sure what the training time is to train a real spy, but that would mean that she would've been recruited when she was like 14 or 15. it's a preposterous allegation.
in libya, the theory is still talked in tripoli. taking on passengers and working with the libyan government in terms of verification of passports before they depart. we do expect the ferry to leave in the next hour or so. you know, the ferry is somewhat delayed and it rival in tripoli earlier today. there was a storm en route, very large sea swells that extended what would normally be about a six hour journey into something longer. the ferry capacity is roughly 575 people on board as we speak our u.s. private citizens, roughly 35 members of the embassy delegation, including non-essential official personnel and family members who are
departing as part of the order, the departure that we made on sunday. we are also taking on a third country, the nationals and supporting other countries whose personnel and citizens are also, you know, trying to depart. many international air carriers are still flowing in and out of libya, and increasing the number of seats available to respond to the ongoing demand. once the ferry departs, we will let you know sometime this afternoon was the kind of official number of people on board is and what the breakout might be. at the end of that, we will continue to canvass libya to identify any of the american citizens who are trying to depart libya. obviously, the number of u.s. citizens work for private companies including oil
companies, that they have been using their own available transportation to get some of their workers out of libya. so this rough number of americans that we expect to be on board the ship today, roughly corresponds to those who have indicated to the embassy in recent days that they wish to depart. but again over the next day or so we will continue to identify and support american citizens who want to leave libya and use available means to help their evacuation. [inaudible] >> the boarding is still going on, i don't have a final number. a number roughly speaking, this ferry can handle 575 people, give or take. >> is this all a function of it being late because of the storm, or is there some kind of difficulty -- >> no, the libyans have actually been cooperative today. you know, some of their procedures are just taking a
fair amount of time verifying passports, stamping passports, doing the accounting. but today there was significant security at your site. so we are pleased they with the cooperation that we received from the libyan government. [inaudible] >> the possible suggested that yesterday it was unclear that you thought they're trying to help -- >> yesterday, i think there were two factors. one, we had requested permission to bring charter aircraft into tripoli. that's a mechanism that we used to evacuate americans from egypt as an example. that permission was not granted yesterday. and so today we shifted to a very -- a ferry that made the journey from malta and will return later today to malta.
and then we had hoped yesterday to get some americans on commercial aircraft departing tripoli, but the demand simply exceeded the available number of seats. >> did you regard of their failure to give permission for charter aircraft, that is, a lack of cooperation on their part or was there something else going on? >> i think we had, we have asked for that permission. that permission was not granted. it's hard to know whether it was just because, but the system has been heavily taxed in recent days, given the volume of people who are trying to depart libya. we are satisfied today, you know, with the cooperation that the libyan government has provided. and as we assess throughout today what our ongoing evacuation needs are, we have
already requested assistance and support from libya for tomorrow. [inaudible] >> is there a second ferry? >> today was just one ferry. >> was it easier to get cooperation? [inaudible] >> is it a sign that maybe getting under the way of the civilians? >> it's hard for me to say. we had asked for certain things. we have not yet received permission to land charter aircraft in libya. that's one option that is still available to us. but like i say, today, notwithstanding, the system is creeping along. we are satisfied with the libyan support. >> one more on the evacuation. to the best of your knowledge, libya is now not under the control of the libyan governme government, moammar gadhafi.
does it have airport you can typically used to airlift to evacuate? >> there is an airport, right now it is not in operation speaker was indeed to get clearance for the ferry to dock into tripoli? >> we made that request yesterday of the libyan government. they granted it. the ferry was able to dock early today and will depart as soon as those boarding process is complete. >> is the u.s. government operating under the assumption that the airport simply cannot handle the capacity of all the international airlines that want to come in? >> no, i don't think -- you know, it is a matter of, for those airlines to continue regular operations, we have been in touch with them and encourage them to increase the size of the aircraft. so the seating capacity, with every expectation that if larger aircraft land in tripoli, there's a sufficient demand either among the american committee or other communities to fill those seats.
>> on the charter flight, if they just not grant permission or do they actively deny? >> or measure was not granted. they were supportive but then the actual permission to land aircraft, just was not granted. i'm not going to be too much into it. that was the first option we presented to the libyan government. we still would like to permission to bring charter's in for any additional americans who want to leave. we hope that that permission will be granted. >> did the libyans actually tell you know, you cannot bring a chartered aircraft or they never responded to the request? >> the request that we made was not granted. that could be -- asking me to answer -- >> had had a chance yet to look
at, or to see qaddafi speech yesterday? if you have what do you make of it? >> long. [laughter] >> you got into trouble the last time. >> i'm very mindful of that. >> no you're what -- >> you know, i'm not going to characterize it. you know, as the secretary said yesterday we have strongly condemned the violence. we think that the killing of innocent civilians is completely unacceptable. it is the libyan government that is accountable for its actions that is taking those actions that have already transpired and they have the responsibility for any violence that occurs against civilians. we hope that the violence will stop, the bloodshed will stop and we will hold the libyan government fully responsible.
[inaudible] >> has publicly called for sanctions against libya. does the united states think that is now a prudent thing to do? >> well, we are looking at a full range of tools and options that are available to us to achieve our goals of singing into the violence in libya. and respect for the rise of the libyan people. that certain includes looking at sanctions that could be imposed if there bilaterally or multilaterally. we believe it's important to coordinate our efforts with the national community. our european allies, the united nations and organizations like the arab league will be consulting broadly about these issues in the coming days. >> the united states had a very -- [inaudible] dating back at least 20 years, and i think the impression among
some american policymakers is that it was not particularly effective on its own. is your preference multilateral or international sanctions, or do you think bilateral sanctions could actually persuade qaddafi to seize the violent? >> again, we have a range of options available to us. we'll be looking at those options and consulting broadly in the coming days. >> does that include -- [inaudible] >> well, whatever is contemplated, you do want to be effective. you do want it to achieve the policy objective. we want to see an end to the violence, and any action that we take, that we would take along those lines would require international support. that is obviously a significant degree difficult in doing something like that.
>> have there been any discussions with international partners? >> josh, as i just said, we are and will continue to reach out as the situation evolves. we are very mindful of the increasingly urgent situation in libya. we will be consulting just as we did yesterday within the u.n. on future steps. i'm not going at this point to predict that we will do this from column a., not this oncology and so forth. we have a range of options available to us and we'll be having those kinds of discussions going forward. [inaudible] >> again, i'm just acknowledging as you said there are people have suggested that, but just be mindful that is a very difficult thing to actually perform. [inaudible] >> as part of the range? >> again, i'm not here to rule in or anything out.
we obviously remain gravely concerned about the situation in libya. we hold the libyan government responsible for what is occurring within their country. we are prepared to take whatever steps are appropriate to see violence against the libyan people stopped. >> in the lead out of this building, the cause of concern of u.s. citizens and diplomats still on ground there? >> we are concerned about the health and welfare of american citizens anywhere around the world. certainly in a crisis situation in libya as well. that said, the president has issued a clear statement condemning the violence in libya, sold as the secretary, so did the united nations yesterday. the president will be meeting with secretary clinton this afternoon at the white house. i believe the president will have a statement to the press afterwards.
[inaudible] >> getting the charters and flight -- >> it is not our intention in anything that we deal to put american citizens at risk. >> the statement was on friday. >> and the secretary issued a statement over the weekend. she spoke to you yesterday. she will i'm sure to be asked about this, this afternoon. the president as i understand will be out as well. [inaudible] >> you know, as i just said, we hold the libyan government, including its leader, responsible for what is occurring in libya. >> that leaders name is -- >> colonel gadhafi. >> thank you. >> thanks for that quiz. [laughter] >> i just want to see if i could get it out of you.
[inaudible] >> they have showed more enthusiasm towards what's happened elsewhere. could you explain that to ask? >> well, as i suggested yesterday, who leads the libya is a matter between the government and the libyan people. as we have said throughout this historic period. it is not for the united states or any outside power to dictate who should rule or not rule a particular country. we continue to encourage political and economic and social reforms so that the people in these countries have the opportunity to participate in a free and fair and open and transparent political process. and then they are the ones who ultimately will make the decisions as to who are the rulers, who are their legislators, and with the policies of the country should
be. [inaudible] speak of how many anarchists have contacted the state department asking for help to get out of? >> it safer question. and we should be able to tell you as soon as the ferry has left the pier and we can do a precise headcount, how many americans have departed. today, i want to say that there have been somewhere, a couple of hundred people have been in touch with the industry in recent days and indicated an interest in departing, and we hope that the action today will take care of a very significant percentage of that number. >> is it fair to say the state department has requested once again permission to land charter flights there? >> yeah. you know, we will be continuing to be in touch with american citizens to make sure that those who want to leave libya have the
opportunity to do so. clearly, given the situation on the ground it would be our judgment that americans should depart libya if they have the means to do so. >> will there be any discussion of whether or not the international community should refer the qaddafi regime to the icc for possible human rights violations? >> let's not jump ahead of ourselves. as i said, there are a number of steps that we can take both bilaterally and multilaterally as the situation unfolds speak of what is the appetite inside the buildings were looking at some sort of prosecution on human rights violations? >> again, we will be looking at a range of options. i don't want to prejudge it? [inaudible] >> with the u.s. start canvassing the country to look for u.s. american citizens? are you aware of any outside the
capital? when you say canvassing, what exactly do you mean? >> are the americans outside the capital who want to leave, the answer is yes. in this case we are in touch with international, other countries who might have citizens in that part of the country. and just as we were able to help evacuate some third party nationals today, you know, we are asking for same support where others are moving people out of other parts of the country. >> how many have you identified? >> i'm not going to go through numbers. >> there are a large number of countries. [inaudible] >> there are large number of countries with citizens who are trying to evacuate. we've been in touch with many of them. we have identified one or more pockets of american citizens outside the capital, and to the extent that we can get them out with the help of other countries --
>> i name on the ferry. what countries -- >> again, we will try to give you a break out as soon as -- the ramp is up and ferry is moving and we can get the precise numbers. the loading process is still going on. [inaudible] >> are they organized? >> i can't catalog, josh, every contact -- >> yes or no? >> let me answer first. i can't catalog every single action that the embassy has made. so i really can't say. i don't know. >> i'm not ruling out but i just can't give you an affirmative. i don't know. [inaudible] >> we have evidence that qaddafi -- [inaudible] >> i read that story. i am in no position to
corroborate it. [inaudible] >> the iranians who have been -- >> hold on. we are still on libya. >> what does that say to you about libya's relations to terrorism? >> i know that you want to leap from one story that is obviously a keen interest to the united states, all the way to a prospective action. you know, that is an interesting story. beyond that, i can't comment. >> what, if anything, it is the government doing to seek to freeze assets of colonel gadhafi, members of his family, senior members of his government? and/or of the libyan state itself so that those assets are
not potentially siphoned away during this period of unrest? >> again, go back to what i said at the beginning. we have a range of tools available to us, a range of actions that we can take going forward. we are evaluating a number of them. we will be consulting broadly about prospect of actions. i'm just not going to prejudge the result of what we're doing inside our government or what we're doing and conversations with -- >> that sanctions were among both -- >> that is true. spirit are absent freezes among -- >> that is the toolbox, yes. [inaudible] >> that you're considering? >> we have a toolbox. we have a lot of tools in the toolbox. which once we decide to take out of the toolbox and deploy, you know, those are judgments we will be making in the coming days. [inaudible] >> what are you waiting for the use of these tools to?
>> we are not waiting for anything. >> why don't you use them? [inaudible] >> the longer you take to make a decision on that, the higher -- >> let me speak -- let me speak in general terms. let me, you know, there are lots of actions that we can prospectively take big many of these actions both require leader orders, executive orders to be undertaken. they have got to have standard of due diligence to be able to support prospect of actions taken. you know, we're in the process of fully understanding and documenting what is occurring in libya. we are prepared as we are saying to take appropriate actions internationally as well as nationally.
but, you know, many of these steps require some preparation. >> the security conference yesterday, do you expect that they would be newbies meetings of the security council? >> it's a fair question. i'm sure that would be among the issues that the secretary discusses with the brazilian foreign minister and the remainder of this month. brazil is the president of the security council. so, you know, but i'd expect that yes, there will be further meetings in the human system spent on the flipside of that question, according to the commerce department 2009 the u.s. government -- excuse me, the u.s. business community made about three quarters of a billion dollars in trade with libya. is the u.s. government hearing from oil companies, manufacturers, of commodities,
producers, about whether the government should go slowly in order to not jeopardize the investment that are remade? >> we're in touch with some countries, and what we're asking them and what they're asking us is how to get american citizens out of the country. >> but nothing in terms of country -- in terms of don't jeopardize -- >> i'm not aware of that. [inaudible] >> was anything akin to civil society organizations in libya? >> i'm not a libya expert, so i don't know how vibrant baby and civil society -- we do have some programs that we've had through the years in libya, but i can't say at this point what kind of dialogue we've had with civil society in recent days. >> was there any kind of dialogue with anything similar -- >> we do have civil society programs in libya.
i don't know that the civil society is necessarily large. i do know that this government has obviously restricted its political process. but we do have programs in lib libya. [inaudible] >> i'm not aware of any, any injuries, deaths or particular targeting. >> and then on the ferry, you mentioned about the security and the weather and everything, but was there any other reason the ferry was so delayed? there was some report the libya for not allowing it to leave the port. >> it is a question about departure i think it's because of the sea conditions. >> one more. has the u.s. embassy in tripoli requested any military protection?
has the embassy requested -- >> protection of -- >> the embassy -- >> you mean u.s. military protection? no. >> can ask you, recently in interview for national newspaper, there was criticism of ambassador of u.s. and the agencies, based on some comments of diplomatic wires, do you have any comment that you might give us a? >> well, i'm not going to comment on anything regarding wikileaks or any of our cables. i would so they say that there exists an unprecedented level of cooperation between the united states and mexico, work together the transnational criminal threat that is a concern to both mexico and the united states. we are working on a number of
training programs. we provided a lot of tools to mexico, including helicopters and other significant equipment. we have worked to improve, you know, mexico's corrections capability, its prosecution capability. its investigative powers, and we will continue this cooperation. we recognize that just as this place is an enormous burden on mexico, we have responsibilities on this side of the border as well, and we continue to increase our work here regarding intercepting currency, intercepting illegal weapons. we have a national drug control strategy that we are enacting here. so, you know, we believe we are doing our part but we recognize the enormous effort done under the col de romme government. >> do you think maybe the assassination of the ice age in as well as -- can be addressed.
to think president calderón -- >> i'm sure when the president is here, we'll have the opportunity to address where we stand in our joint efforts, review, the current state of the initiative and what continued support that mexico will need during this. >> any other issues on the agenda of? >> we are neighbors. we have a broad bilateral relationship, not just in the context of fighting transnational criminals. you know, there are a lot of regional issues. i'm sure we will be talking to mexico about international issues including libya. >> at 10:28 p.m. you made the tweet that -- >> thank you for the timing. >> saying that you are surprised
that argentina is not cooperate with the u.s. [inaudible] >> we continue to communicate with argentina. we have sent recently a couple of diplomatic notes. argentina has yet to expand -- respond to those. there's a legal process that is ongoing in argentina but we continue to make clear that we want our equipment back. >> why did you say they don't want to cooperate? [inaudible] >> i mean, we are still puzzled why the equipment was taken in the first place. you know, this training exercise had been fully coordinated within argentine government. the equipment on board the aircraft was fully consistent
with both the nature of the training activity, and we felt that any technical issues that had arisen in terms of the manifesting of this equipment could have been resolved at a working level. it was elevated to a higher level. we are not sure why. [inaudible] >> the u.s. and argentina have a good relation. also we spoke about this. do you think there's any -- this is related to present obama to argentina? both these intense situations. >> shock. shocked this politics is going on. >> and the other issue, palestine and issue. could you clarify to us what is the status -- [inaudible] >> i will refer to the white house on all of that. >> and second, can you share
with us the status, what is going on? the security council veto by the united states last friday, what is the status of the whole peace process of? >> it has slowed down a little bit. look, we still remain determined to make progress. we recognize that that has been difficult. our argument against the action last week before the security council was it would further complicate an already difficult situation. we are going to assess where we are in light of last week's activity, but we're determined to press forward. [inaudible] >> there is nothing ongoing now? >> there's nothing i can point to this week, no. >> you know on issue of -- >> i will get you eventually. >> you know what the purpose of the meeting, supposed to be a meeting here today between officials and the father of the american who was killed in the
gaza flotilla incident. is that meeting going to happen? if it is, what the purpose is? >> there was a meeting today at the state department with the father of the turkish american citizen who was killed last year in the flotilla. he met today with consular officials. i'm not going to read the -- >> well, what have you told him about the death of his son and the status of what you believe the status of the investigation is? >> there are investigations that are ongoing. >> the investigation that year, and said is transparent and credible. the israeli investigation finds there was no wrongdoing, and the investigation that you would not use those words for, turkish
investigation, that is completely 180 degrees at odds with it and find israelis responsible for the death of -- >> and there is a u.n. process underway as well. >> is that the message for the father, wait for the u.n.? >> again, i will leave the precise discussion private, but just note that the matter is not yet, not yet completed. >> i don't understand why you would meet with him if you had nothing to tell him spirit he is the father of an american citizen, and we will, this is what we do. we are happy to sit down and consult and update anyone who has, certainly, someone who has suffered this kind of tragedy. but as a practical matter, the investigations are still ongoing. >> so that was the purpose, update the father on the status of where you see things? >> sure. [inaudible] >> i don't know the circumstances.
i suspect the answer is yes. [inaudible] >> i will defer to the white house on that. all right. [inaudible] >> but assets and property do they have that makes it significant? >> it significant statement. i can't tell you how often they travel or what, you know, their level of personal riches or. all i can say is that we have the authority to do this. and we have done this, and hopefully it will complicate their lives. >> you make comments today about how unimaginable it is to countries or killing their people, they don't let them to talk -- >> i tweeted on this. it's an interesting question
that he posed, and i think the iranian people are entitled to the answer of the question, which is why do leaders including the leaders of iran acted so badly against their people. [inaudible] >> i've got to do. they're going to introduce the secretary and a couple of minutes spent a short answer i think. the status of the fdl designation for the mek, what is at? >> is still ongoing spent give any expectation that that might be completed in? >> i don't have expectations. >> sorry? >> i can't characterize what the timeline is. >> you have anything on south korean meeting with the state department? >> i do not. [inaudible] >> did you see any development on china's position of north korea's? >> i don't have anything to report. >> cnn complained yesterday they could not broadcast from
bahrain. they filed a report on the phone. anything from -- >> i will check in on that. [inaudible] >> i don't. [inaudible] >> is there any official message regarding the situation? >> well, go back to what the secretary said in her speech in doha. we had a clear message to governments across the region that they need to meet the aspirations to their people, and they need to lead political, social and economic reform. [inaudible] >> but the prescription remains the same. thank you.
>> an uprising in tunisia, a little more than a month ago profit that countries president to leave the country on january 14. those demonstrations have sparked protests throughout the middle east. this afternoon the governor of tunisia's central bank talked about the country's impact on the global economy. there's a new way to get a precise figure of the day's events. it's washing today on c-span radio. every weekday we will take you to capitol hill, the white house and anywhere news is happening. we will talk with the experts,
the politicians and journalists as we put the days events into perspective. the stories that matter to you the most every weekday five-seven eastern time on c-span rita. -- c-span radio. is also available as an iphone app and you can download the program every evening as a c-span podcast. >> the "new york times" executive editor and its washington bureau chief recently discussed their operations in today's digital age and how newspapers and other traditional news organizations can adapt.
this hour and 15 minute discussion hosted by george washington university is moderated by former network news correspondent marvin kalb. >> from the national press club washington, d.c., this is "the kalb report" with marvin kalb. [applause] hello and welcome. welcome to the national press club, into another edition of "the kalb report." i'm marvin kalb and our subject tonight, all the news that's fit to print, behind the scenes at the "new york times." i do know about you but i'm grateful to three things every day. one, that i get up in the morning. too, that i live in a free country.
and three, that copies of two newspapers are dropped off in front of my house every day, seven days a week. more reliable, i found that the united states post office. for me the newspaper is a morning miracle. imagined stories from all over the world all over the country, science, sports, medicine, economics, finance, truly a morning miracle essential to the functioning of an open and free society. one of my morning newspapers is the "new york times." arguably the most respected newspaper in the united states, and certainly one of the best in the world. we are delighted to welcome executive editor bill keller and washington bureau chief dean baquet to the national press club, and to "the kalb report." built keller has been executive after since 2003. he has been with paper since 1984. been a reporter since 1970.
he's been bureau chief of the soviet union and south africa, he wanted to surprise for his coverage of the soviet union and has also been a columnist and managing editor of the paper. dean baquet has been with the times since 1990, though he did take seven years off to the managing editor and editor of the "los angeles times." he quit the "l.a. times" when he refused a corporate order to fire more journalists. he, too, has won a pulitzer prize. okay, bill, dean baquet. i've called her newspaper a morning miracle and i mean it. i'm always amazed at what i can find in the newspaper, so how do you make a miracle? and bill, i want to start with you on a couple basic questions, get the lay of the land. you work in new york which is the headquarters of the "new york times." how many people work for the times?
>> well, for the newsroom, not counting the delivery trucks to the advertising department, the actual journalists, a little more than 1100. as far as reporters, editors, photographers, videographers, producers, the whole panoply of clerks, about 1100. >> but of the 1100 how much our reporters who go out to cover stories? >> roughly 400. >> roughly 400 of the 1100. and on a normal day what do you get in? >> i normally get into about 8:30. >> what is your first meeting, who attends and what happened to? >> we just change our first meeting, for many years it began at 10:30 and was mostly focused on getting ready for the next days paper. we now start at 10:00, and we devote our time pretty much equally to things that where we are thinking about for the printed newspaper and things for the website.
so that's a meeting where we really look at what are the stories, the actual running news stories first and foremost, how we will approach them. whether other editors at the table have thought on things they can bring to us. >> who are the other editors speak with the heads of all the various new department. metro desk, the national desk, the foreign desk, cultural, science. >> about a dozen? >> about a dozen. it ebbs and flows. for a while we did have an invited guest. that was done under the national desk that we do have an environmental desk. lightweights we have immediate editor who used to be understood business reporter but is now more independent. people come, the head of the video unit comes, the head of graphics comps, videography comes. particularly when were talking about the website. we want to hear from them what they have got planned to keep the website getting fresh and current through the day.
>> how many of the meetings, formal meetings aside from just bumping into somebody in the hallway do you have in the course of a day in? >> there are two main meetings. a morning meeting and then there's a 4:00 meeting where we pick the stories that will go on the front page the next day, and also talk about what's going to be on the homepage of the website first thing in the morning. those are the two meetings that the day is kind of built around, all the key players go to. i've got a lot of enemies i go to but those are the ones that really affect the journalism. >> and dean, you're representing the washington bureau. are you part of all of these meetings? >> yet, were on, the bureau is on the phone, we are on a speakerphone participate in immediate and essentially just and will fight a bit about what bill described, each desk describes what it thinks is best story of the day for the homepage and for the front page of the print paper. and you sort start the process of making a pitch for why you
think your story should get the best play. so it's the beginning of a competition. >> and what do you think is your major responsibility representing washington? >> i think my major responsibility is to sift through the sort of mix of the real news of the day. faux news of the day, if you will, and try to give bill a sense of the two or three really significant stories of the day on washington. >> how many reporters work for you in washington? >> a total of about 45 people in the bureau, counting editors and others. and my guess is probably about 28, 29 of them are reporters. >> would that make it the largest bureau outside of new york and? >> yes. >> bill, during the course of the day, you have a sharp feel for what it is that's going to be the "new york times" the next a? >> it depends. i mean, on a week when, you
know, just major breaking news, when a country is in turmoil or you have a state of the union address, some major event that you're watching very closely, you kind of know early on in the day what of the other pieces you're thinking about. in a slow news period i may not know until the page one meeting at 4:00, and sometimes considerably later than that. we will still be looking around for something that is substantive enough. it's more an art than a science putting together the stories for the front page, but you ought first and foremost you want the page to feel sort of urgent and in the flow of events, not to seem sort of optional or lightweight. >> but at the same time there are days when the "new york times" does not have a hard lead for the newspaper, and you're not prepared to go with something that you do in the old days would be described as a
feature story. why do you do that? >> as a rule i would rather put some piece of an uprising reporting that is not breaking is the something we have discovered. i would rather put that at the top of the front page and some kind of incremental development, a running store that people look at and say, so what? you know, it's tempting to do that. dean get a washington is a place its particularly tempting because a piece of legislation passes the subcommittee and then it passes a committee and then it goes to the house and then it goes to the senate, and and and said it. you can take each of those moments as an occasion to write a big front-page story, but nothing much happened between step one and step two and step three. so we generally try to relegate the more incremental news to inside stories and put the stuff out front that feels more momentous. >> even if it's not an actual event that happened, something
that we just ran across in the course of our reporting. >> i remember about 20 years ago, i did some research, on the front page of the "new york times," and went back 30 years ago, then 20, tintin and five and last year. and what i found was that you used to run many more stories on the front page. you used to run many more hard news stories on the front page. you and many fewer photographs on the front page, and they were generally small. so the front page of the "new york times" today is quite different from what it was 15, 20 years ago. why the change? >> well, it's partly, it looks -- in the days when they would put 12 or 14 stories on the front page, most of them really didn't belong on the front page. it was just a day when the
newspaper was regard as sort of a pesky, lots of little or not that were going on. and even the slogan all the news that fits to print i think park is back today when the game of the newspaper was to be comprehensive. will tell you may be only a little bit, but a little bit about everything. and i think, you know, that slogan may be describes an aspiration, a kind of mindset. but now we tend to be more selective, try to give you more depth to tell you the stories that are not obvious, you know, in today's you're talking about we use to put the comings and goings of ships in the new york harbor on the front page. there aren't that many ships coming and going into new york harbor anymore, and mostly they don't matter all that much to your average reader. >> budget talk all the news that's fit to print, and you say that there was a time when the times was made comprehensive newspaper. are you saying that it isn't now
the? >> yeah, i don't think there's anything as a comprehensive -- >> how would you describe the times today? >> i think we try to tell you what you need to know to be a well-informed citizen across the board, but that doesn't mean that every minor incremental development in a piece of legislation, that every inconclusive lawsuit that everything, you know, that is news at some level is important enough to be in the paper. >> i accept that but why didn't somebody feature stories when there are, in fact, hard news stories that you could put on the front-page? >> what have you got against feature stories? [laughter] >> some of my favorite stories are featured stories. >> i am of the sort who believes that the newspaper, as it gets smaller, which is the times' fate in recent years, as it is the fate of other newspapers, too. nothing distinctive about the times. because you don't have that much
more will now, you ought to level with the reader and give us the hard news of the day. do you really have the time to do the featured stories? >> evidently because we do a lot. [laughter] >> i know, but should you? >> you know, there are a lot of hard news stories that really do not justify the space. and the a lot of featured stories that actually tell you quite a bit about -- when you see feature stories, it's an umbrella that comes -- covers a lot of different things. profiles interesting people on the news that you want to understand because they are actors, it may include snapshots of it like any committee that is affected by the economy, or by some people. those are features but they carry the values of the news. they help you understand what's going on in the world. the same way that the news of some foreign officials speech or
a cabinet members ribbon-cutting would tell you. >> can i -- >> please do. >> i would make, back what bill said but -- >> that is not surprising. [laughter] >> but i would say something provocative. papers were never comprehensive. i think this grand image of the conference of newspaper 30 or 40 years ago, they were sort of a little bit a comprehensive. i think if you sat down with the editors, which i have come who ran papers during the era they would to the "new york times" and the "washington post" fronted the prime minister's speech, but ms. the rise in the other parts of the world that were much, much more significant. they might have fronted the fourth movement of a bill from a house subcommittee to another committee, but they missed until very late the dramatic shifts in the way women and are active in the workplace.
>> but which were describing though his -- >> just to finish the thought. i would argue that had newspapers have the sensibility they have now, those would have been covered. and much more significant the announcement of the british prime ministers budget. and i would also argued that this probably would have been crafted as so-called feature stories, but they would've captured something much, much more significant. ..
>> i have no argument at all with everything you said, but every single one of those, every single one of those could have been and probably would have been a hard news story if 50,000 blacks moved from the small town in the south up to detroit. when they got to detroit and the effect it had on detroit, that was a news story. >> but it didn't happen that way, not like an event in the way newspapers were trained. it oozed over years. >> when people talk about hard news, they tend to mean events. the president did something today, something concrete happened. there was an accident, a disaster of sorts. that's what people generally talk about when they mean hard news, but that doesn't cover a whole realm of enterprise investigative news that is not lying out there easily to be harvested by reporters. it requires time and digging,
but i'm sure you agree it's some of the most worthwhile journalism that we do. >> i do. i completely agree. [laughter] what is your competition today? >> that is a good question and we ask ourselves that a lot. >> the "wall street journal, the wild web, what is it? >> all of it in different ways. i still look at newspapers and newspaper websites, but even that category has extended beyond the sort of meet people that compete with us for circumstance laight on the ground in the u.s.. i read british websites, for example, the bbc, the guardian, the telegraph sometime, the "washington post" is still a competitor, the "wall street journal" is still a competitor because like the times, it's a national paper and not regional paper. i look at other places too like
"politico," the "daily beast" or somebody tells me because i can't spend the whole day doing that. [laughter] >> what is your feeling about the major competition at the end of the day? what would bother you the best most if the web had a story you didn't or the "wall street journal"? >> small margin the "wall street journal". i don't like to get beaten by anybody, and the fact that somebody beats us on a substantial website means it's going to be all over the place, so, you know, i regard them all the as competitors. by the way, not just for the stories, you know. there are competing "politico" and "washington post" compete with us for talent. they are actually hiring
people. they are competing with us in the field of innovation. you know, i don't regard the "huffington post" as an aggressive competitor on international affairs, but the way they use social media is instructive, and we watch that. >> okay. we're describing and taking about a very competitive world in journalism today. does this competition mean that you have set what some people call certain quotas for quarters that those who get more hits on a story that they've done on a website might be rewarded financially, better assignments? >> no. we have reporters who write four or five stories a year, and they tend to be big, truly ground breaking investigative stories,
and there's people who write 400 stories a year. obviously, most people fall somewhere in between. there's the question of productivity that if someone is noel following the sometime aggressively and they get beaten, but no, we don't pay and promote them accordingly. >> dean, your bureau of another newspaper and you've been around journalism awhile now. the assisting managing editor of the times say you live now in a new timeframe in which you work, no longer 24/7, but now he says it's 1440/7 means 1440 minutes a day and then 7 days a week. that describes a totally new psychology in jowmplism.
journalism. how do you manage that in a major newspaper? >> it's tricky. a lot of what we do today with the balancing of the website and the print paper reminds me of the afternoon people started in new orleans where it was remarkably similar. if you -- when you came in in the morning, you had to come up with a way to move the ball for the afternoon editions in covering the story from the morning people, so there's a similarity. it's tricky to manage. it requires a lot more decision making, faster off the mark decision making. i mean, i said when you asked earlier what do i see my role of the front page meaning, and i said i see the role as picking of two or three most important stories of the dayment i think that that shifts constantly through the day. you have to work harder to manage, fringe, a white house -- for instance, a white house reporter's time.
a white house reporter now in the preweb era, a white house reporter could go to a press conference at 10:30 and go to lunch after. now the expectation -- >> no lunch. >> right. now the reasonable expectation is we have to figure out a way to file the story for the web shortly after the press conference assuming it's an important enough press conference, and then we have to think about what are we gong to provide the reader for the print paper and maybe the reader for later in the day. it's trickier. >> one of the things in my mind is when congresswoman gabrielle give fords was shot, it was reported she was killed. you reported that because not somebody fed you that, but because cnn and npr said she was
killed. in other words, you used other news organizations as your sources. now, i checked this. you did say news organization say that she was killed. technically, that's an accurate statement, but it was dead wrong, so how did you avoid in the future that kind of blunder? >> well, there's no such thing as an okay mistake whether it's -- especially when it's one of that magnitude and the fact it was on the website for seven minutes before it was corrected does not justify getting that sort of thing wrong. the way you protect it is a number of ways. first of all, you send a clear message to reporters that it's nice to get it first, but it's most important to get it right. >> these were the editors who made that call, not the reporters.
>> it was essentially a rewrite man that slipped past an editor. the second thing you do is not just having one but a couple editors who look at the stories before it goes on the website, and whose job is to challenge material that's not supported. the third thing you do is you teach people it's okay to be explicit in the story about what you don't know, and all these are things we try to do. you know, i make no excuses for that particular blunder, and several people got a finger wagging over that, but the fact is, it doesn't happen all that often, and it's just kind of miraculous when you think about it. how do you put out a daily newspaper with all of the authority and of the "new york times" and my answer is almost every day we do it.
>> is the editing process for the newspaper the same as the editing process for the web story? >> yes and no. i mean, no, well, the standards are the same, and in most cases it goes through the same layers of editing, but it does it at an accelerated pace. it's like the editing that a story gets on a tight deadline, and even before the internet, you have stories that broke 30 minutes before deadline did not get the same editing attention as the story that broke in the morning. it just didn't. >> let me take a minute to website our website, television audiences that they're listening to the call --
kalb record and our guests are dean baquet and william keller. there should be a wall between the two, and "the news pages are laced with analytical and opinion pieces that work against the premise that the news is just the news." many conservatives criticize the times as being a liberal, left-wing newspaper and that those views get into the news part of your newspaper, why do you allow this to happen? >> we don't allow it to happen. [laughter] >> but it happens almost every day. >> according to our brisbane or according to you? >> no, according to people who have read the "new york times" for many, many years. >> yeah. >> what i'm getting at here, bill, is there's more analysis stepping into commentary and the
editorial side of reporting than a straight hard news story. >> i don't mind the news pages, and in fact, i encourage it every day. i think, you know, the discipline of objectivity or pash yalty -- partiality is driven into reporters on the first day on the job. you have to be partisan, declare biases up front, and people can judge it accordingly. it's an aspiration, and reporters and editors bring their own beliefs to their jobs, and they are expected just as judges are supposed to set their prejudices aside in judging a case, reporters and editors are expected to lay their personal prejudices aside in assessing the facts of the news story. >> don't you believe -- >> and, no, i don't believe -- >> let me finish the question.
don't you believe that there is more opinion, commentary, analysis today in the paper, however you choose to define it, then there was ten years ago, and if the answer is yes, tell me why. >> yes, a lot more analysis because i think that's what readers want and expect of the people who have been out and witnessed events and gathered the information. the reporters who cover -- >> bill, aren't you making that assumption that that's what they want? how do you know that? maybe they just want a straight news story and not their opinion. >> maybe, and we give them a lot of that too. they don't get my opinion, but if, you know, if we're going to write a piece on a particular political figure, then supplying some context to his remarks or his activities is a service to readers i think. i don't think any reporter is
justified in saying congressman x is wrong or he's a fool or he's unqualitied -- unqualified, but you are justified and expected to say here's where the views of his come from and what his constituency is, here's who he listens to. that's an analysis. it's a context without which the bear facts are not of much use to readers. >> okay. >> there's always been a certain amount of opinion. i think there is a fine line, i think a pick line between opinion and analysis, but there's always been a certain amount of opinion in newspapers. book reviews are opinion. bitter contributics offer their -- critics offer their opinion. >> that's different than from covering the white house. >> what i argue is that you're not, the person in charge of covering the white house, you're not going to -- you would see, i would argue
analysis coming from the white house. you will see -- it's an imperfect creature the newspaper is. i think there's an expectation today that the audience does not want us to any longer say barak obama gives a speech at a certain time of day, that barak obama said x yesterday. i think there's an expectation, and i'm going to make the case again that newspapers may have failed and not doing that 25 years ago. there's an expectation that the writer puts some of that in some context. there's an expectation that the writer says reminding people that, you know, it's a president who is, you know, forced to make a comment on a foreign policy issue because the last foreign policy issues were struggles or whatever. >> absolutely. >> but i think that that's -- if you find us crossing a line further than that in the coverage of that speech, then i
would say that's a mistake, but i don't think that's the common occurrence art or others might say it is. >> but you are both acknowledging there's more analysis in the paper today because your judgment is if the reader wants that rather than a recitation of the straight story? >> they want your -- >> you're saying they want your analysis of what the president meant. it reminds me in the vietnam war there was five o'clock follies in saigon where reporters were told by the cornels what happened that day. does it need the analysis of the colonel to tell them, and i'm only raising the question, but you already answered it in a way, that maybe what people want is less analysis and less maybe
there's studies on this and you concluded. >> just one thing that i think i may have stressed too much, when i say it's the readers' expectation, i'm not saying there's a readership sur vie and newspapers are saying to dictate the readership survey, by the overall mission of the newspaper changed hardly at all. the overall mission which is to explain the most important events, describe, explain, and lay out the most important events of the day before in the jim roberts recessation as in an hour before, it had to change, but i mean, it had to change. that's not based on readership surveys, but if you have a core mission you're responsible for, it stands to reason you have to change it over the years. >> absolutely.
let's talk about the new thing called a pay wall. i'm led to believe that that allows me to gain access to your website if i pay for that access. i'd like to project say a year or so into the future. what does that pay wall look like best you can estimate now? >> well, there are many different varieties in this species of paid online news. the one that we are adopting later this year is what we call a metered model. it means you get a certain amount for free, and beyond that point, you're expected to subscribe. the most visitors, casual visitors to the website, will never encounter the little billboard that says we would like you to subscribe. the people who are home subscribers of the print paper
will not encounter it either. they'll continue to get it for free. what we're saying is the people who use the new york times website as their newspaper, something they come back to over and over, spend a lot of time reading it, treasure it, should pay a little something for it. you know, we don't want to scare away readers, and we're prepared to make adjustments along the way so we don't lose traffic to our website which advertisers particularly like and pay a tidy sum for. >> if i have a subscription to the times, which i do, i then have access to your website. >> yes. >> as you look into the future, # 245 kind of -- that kind of a business model will continue? >> i believe so. >> yeah, you're dealing mostly when we talk about the pay wall what is on the web, and i'm wondering whether as you make your calculations now between the printed newspaper and the
web, what is more important to you? how many people show up in both worlds? do more people read the paper than read the web? >> they're different questions. the printed newspaper still supplies the overwhelming revenues that keep the company going, but many people come to us on the website rather than print. there's roughly speaking a million subscriptions to the printed newspaper each day. we get by some estimates 50 million people. >> each month? >> each month. it's not apples to apples comparisons, but that's what we're provided. the numbers vary. there's a neilson rating and other ratings, but it's 50 million people worldwide, unique individuals come to the "new
york times" every month, and that number of is growing. >> i'm sorry? >> that number is growing where the print is not. >> do you have a separate staff for the newspaper and then for the website? >> almost not anymore. when the website started out, it was a little kind of rump operation and was even in a separate building. five or six years ago we decided that that was a big mistake that you didn't want to have and treat the website like an afterthought. you were cheating people who came to the newspaper online of this creative energy of this experienced news staff, and so we've been gradually remaking it into a single newsroom, and it's pretty much there. >> i got an old-fashioned question which always bugs me. the reporter today working for the times or cbs of the post
works very hard, in a way much harder than we did 20, 30, 40 years ago, and that is because that reporter has to service so much. it's the paper, it's the website, and you find them on radio and television and it's a big deal. when does a reporter have a chance just to think rather than produce? is there a moment to reflect on what it is that is going on in the world? >> that's a really good question, and it's one that's dobbed with all news organizations as we move into the digital realm. you don't want to turn them into hamsters on wheels constantly producing updates. >> right, right. >> we've done a number of things. we created a rewrite tank. you have to leave a certain amount of discretion in the hands of the reporters. if they need more time to report, think about this, you can provide that, and we do
that. we will assign the web version of the story to somebody else, a bank of rewrite people or to another reporter. >> you don't get a deinert for that, do you? >> no, no. it is true that people have adapted, you know, i mean, reporters don't like to let go of their story to somebody else, and so more and more of them have come to think of filing for the web as simply filing their first draft, and then they continue to revise over the course of the daying and at the end of the day they have the story about as good as it gets. >> bill, is it the report's first responsibility when he or she comes upon it, a fact or an up sight, to -- insight, to provide it to the web? >> if they can do it quickly, then we liberate to do additional reporting, dig down, add dimensions and analysis to the piece, then, yes.
we try to keep it in the hand of the reporter as much as possible. i mean, we're not a wire service. i mean, i love wire services, but the premium is on speed. i think people come to the "new york times" for a kind of authority because they trust us to get it right and explain it in a way that makes sense for them. >> yes, but i have a feeling you are operating, forgive me despite what you said, operating in a world that lives by state, by this 1440/7. now, that's different from 24/7. the psychology is different. >> it's true. >> you're asked to do something for the web the minute you have something, put it on the web. well if, you're going to write something decent, you want to sit down and write it. that takes time.
>> that's true. >> what's the responsibility of the journalist now to adjust to the web at that point? alert dean in washington if there's a washington reporter doing this, and say, hey, i got something really good that i got to write it first for the web, and you allow him to do that? >> sure. we should differentiate between the way you described the sort of factoid. the truth is i don't think people come to the "new york times" for the factoid. we're not talking about the big gigantic running story of the day where the factoid is something large. if a reporter wandered into my office with, you know, with a story about an unimportant appointment, and i had to balance that against a more important story, i'm going to say don't push the unimportant factoid on the web, and i think bill would agree.
a classic example of a reporter who knows he's competing against the "washington post" or the "wall street journal" or somebody else on a story who is ready to write the story at two o'clock in the afternoon, i want to story up at two o'clock in the afternoon, and that's a judgment we make all the time. >> okay. let's talk about the wikileaks phenomena for a bit. wikileaks as we know the leaking of secret government cables, many of them embarrassing, harmful to the united states. the times published many stories on this. bill, you wrote e qently on defending the time's decision. there are a couple questions flowing through my mind. wikileaks which seems to have a very specific anti-american flavor or impulse, is wikileaks
a legitimate source for the "new york times"? >> well, wikileaks is a source. >> it is a source. >> and, you know, sources tend to come with agendas. they come with biases. sometimes they come with distasteful biases. it is true that wikileaks has a kind of, to the extent to define an ideology, it's anarchist, anticonstitutions, antigovernment, antithe united states, but every source comes to you with some kind of an agenda. what you have to do is focus on the information that you get. is the information true? is it valid? is it newsworthy? in our relationship with wikileaks, we said at the outset, we knew at the outset
the fair amount about the organization and their biases and their agenda, and we made it clear that we are going to treat them as a source and nothing more than that. that is we will take their information they offer us, bed it, supply context, sensor it which we did. we edited it out in material that we reasonably put lives at risk. we did not consult wikileaks on what we would write about on any given subject. >> do you believe, bill, that wikileaks is a legitimate news organization? everything in the first amendment privileges # that the "new york times" enjoys? >> those are two questions. >> answer both. >> well, i will more or less answer them both in part because i'm not a lawyer.
they should be humble about who should call themselves a journalist and who doesn't. wikileaks is not in my ballpark of journalism, they do not practice the kind of journalism we practice. they are an advocacy group or whatever. the question of whether they are entitled to first amendment protections though is a somewhat different question. the first amendment questions are not only afforded to the press, and it's a very tricky question for lawyers to part, and i'm not a lawyer. what's the difference between somebody who takes a lot of raw material and publishes it on a website and somebody like us who vets it, massages it, shapes it into stories, and publishes it in a newspaper. >> in a way, bill, the "new york times" became the enabler of wikileaks by publishing a lot of
stories based on the information that wikileaks provided. i'm not using the word enabler as a positive way. >> i think that's the wrong word. i think wikileaks and its leaders were entirely capable of publishing material on their own. >> wikileaks would have published it on their own? >> absolutely, to a website available to anybody who wanted to look at it. the information would have circulated through the blogosphere in a day, and people would have been cherry picking out of the information that's most useful to them in interesting and alarming ways, but it would be published. the difference between daniel ellsburg is that he really needed something like the "new york times" unless he wanted to spend life in jail. >> keep in mind, daniel took the
papers and went first to congress to try to get legal action against the war. >> right. >> then to harvard university, i don't know why. >> sure. >> in the end we hent to the times. >> he needed the times. >> exactly. the wikileaks needed the times also. >> they didn't. >> no? >> we gave a lot more attention and currency more than at other news organizations wrote about it, but i think it came out in a much more, you know, publicly valuable way than posted on the website. >> not arguing that point at all. totally agree with you on that the question i'm getting at is this, if the "new york times" had not published all much those stories and it had been left to "the guardian" and other papers around the world, it would have been reported on 16 page of the
"new york times". >> no, you're so wrong. [laughter] it would have been on the front page, the day after the guardian, versions of the story would have been on the front page of every newspaper, cnn, and everybody else. >> do you believe you broke many news stories? do you believe that wikileaks gave you one new thing that you didn't know about afghanistan? >> yes, actually. >> like what? >> i thought i learned a lot from the reports. the fact that, you know, i realize one of the criticisms have been larched at the documents is they didn't tell us anything profoundly new about the world. most news does not tell you something profoundly new about the world. the news moves in inches and feet, in increments. wikileaks told us, for example, that the people who are running the war in afghanistan have grave misgivings about the role
pakistan plays, our important ali in the region. >> i can point to 20 stories in the "new york times" that said the same thing. >> not one of them were based -- >> based on very good digging, talking to secretaries of state of defense and all that. one of the guys working for dean in washington knew that and reported that. >> except here's where i think you are wrong. first i actually think this is doesn't go over big in washington is an unimportant argument. i think the debate over whether or not wikileaks had a dramatic new factoid, by that, you mean the dray malt tick -- dramatic new factoid that head of state took a bribe and we didn't know about, that's an odd argument. there's no question as somebody who has edited and been involved with a bunch of stories before wikileaks about afghanistan and the war in iraq, there's no question that wikileaks added tremendously to the
understanding anybody who cares about those wars in the world have about those wars in the world. it's one thing to have sort of second third hand reporting that says the rulers of countries in the same region as iran were afraid to say it publicly are very nervous about the rise of iran and iran's nuclear capability. it's another thing to have it in the words of the diplomats of talking with the people. sir, i argue those are rich documents, but what i flip back is put aside the debate over what wikileaks provided. isn't it unimaginable to anybody that the "new york times" would have had the arrogance to have this stuff and not publish it? to me, whenever the question's been raced to me -- raised to me was the new york times behaving in an arrogant way or flaunting its ability to publish the stuff, enabling wikileaks or working with
wikileaks or whatever, to me, the most unimaginable thing the "new york times" could have done is have the stuff, look at it, say this is interesting, let's have an ethical debate, put it in the computer, and go have lunch. that to me would be shocking. >> you misread me. >> i'm not misreading you. i think i'm using this as an opportunity to address other people. >> no, i do understand what you're doing. [laughter] please understand the thrust of my questions is based on a profound respect for the "new york times". >> i understand. >> and the position of the "new york times" in american journalism and global journalism so that when william keller makes a decision, he's making a decision not just for the times, but making decisions for american journalism too. now, that puts you in a very special position, and i think we have done that subject. i want to move on.
[laughter] ruford merdock. >> who? [laughter] well, he's spending a lot of money employing journalists, so in that respect particularly how the market for journalists has been over the last few years, i applaud that. i think he loves news of a particular kind. you know -- >> personal kind? >> the new york post tabloid journalism, but he brought a wide range of journalism and invested in it. that's a good thing. i think his most lasting effect in this country is fox news. >> what is the effect of fox
news on american journalism? >> i think the effect of fox news on american public life is to create a level of cynicism about the news in general. i think it's contributed to the sense that they are all just, you know, out there with a political agenda. fox is just more overt about it, and i think that's unhealthy. i think fox is also raising -- i mean, there's a lot of talk since the gabby giffords attempted murder about civility in our national discourse, and i make no connection between the guy who shot those people in tucson and the national discor, but it is true that the national discourse is more polarized and strident than in the past, and to some extent, i lay that at the feet of rupert, yes.
>> quick question. you said of the washington post he wrote all by authorized accounts of the dlibses of government. if the times had a chance to hire bob woodward, would it? >> of course. >> i have enormous aspiration for bob and what he's done, and i read an awful lot about woodward. the point of that remark was in washington, officials complain about secrets when they don't like them, but they collaborate in the secrets when they think it serves their purpose. people talked about woodward as a way of furthering their agenda. >> we have a minute and a half left. the question goes to bill. there's a lot of jowmplism students out here. would you encourage them to plunge into it despite its
problems or go to law school? [laughter] >> you just made the choice real easy. [laughter] you know, with all do respect for the legal profession, of course i encourage them to go into it. first of all, there are a number of places that are hiring again, not for large sums of money, but then, most of us didn't start out getting large sums of money in this business either. what i generally tell aspiring journalists is let's say the worst case scenario happens and news organizations dissolve and it all becomes a free for all and nobody pays money for people to be reporters, if you can master the skills that you're supposed to master, gathering information, betting it, sorting it out, making sense of it, writing it, presenting it in a way that's accessible and even engaging, then you can find work in a lot of fields. there are a lot of fields from the law to academia to science
where those skills will serve you extremely well. >> dean, do you buy into that? >> oh, sure, sure. >> tell the kids to do it? >> i would say with the arrival and the rise of the web, it's probably more of a blast now for kids going into journalism than it would have been 10 years ago. >> well, that's fantastic. time is up. i hate to tell you, and i want to thank first our wonderful audience. i want to thank radio, television, and internet audiences all over the country and for that matter all over the world, and most of ul, i want to thank our two guests, william keller and dean baquet, two remarkable reporters representing the "new york times". thank you for being with us. [applause] for all of you out there -- [applause] in a free society, i like to use the last line, good night and
good luck. [applause] [inaudible conversations] well, look, ladies and gentlemen, we now have an opportunity for you all to ask the questions that you wish, and what you have to do -- where's that microphone? back there, and the microphone right over here on the right, so please go to the microphones, ask a question, identify yourself, and if i have the impression that you're about to make a speech, i'm going to cut you off. i'm alerting you now. start here. >> i'm lindsey, a journalism student at george washington. my question goes back to wikileaks in a different direction. when you originally published the first wikileaks information i believe in july, you included
a fairly comprehensive editor's note and answered personally reader's comments and questions. do you think in the changing media environment it's important to open the door to your editorial room and editorial decisions like that? >> yes, i do. i mean, i think it's to some extent unavoidable, but i think it's useful to do that. i mean, you know, i'm sure marvin can cite you polls that show the steady decline of trust in the american media. i do take those polls with great assault. they lump the media all together into one basket. it's like members of congress, if you ask people about congress, they thumbs down, but if you ask temperature about their own congressman, it's thumbs up. there's a steady erosion of trust in the media, and it's a useful way to regain some of
that to explain what we do and why we do it. >> are you going to be doing that, bill, on a regular basis? not in response to a specific story, but just every month are you going to do a column? >> well, we've been doing it on a fairly regular basis, and we try to mix it up, different people in the newsroom take questions, reporters, editors, sometimes we've done them, you know, just with no particular prompting, and we've done them around particular stories that generated a lot of controversy. >> okay. yes? >> hi, how are you? connie long, independent reporter since 1968. in the rich old days of jowmplism there's a -- journalism there was a smugness of the press. do you see a change in that attitude among the bloggers? >> some of my best friends are
bloggers, but actually my best employees are bloggers. we have about 50 blogs at the times. yes, we're past the point where a blogger is a term. i mean, there are, you know, bad blogs and good blogs, smart ones and not so smart ones and blogs that are read by two or three people. you know, i think any kind of sweeping generalization is probably unfair, but, no, i think the blog as a form is exciting and allows you to do things that more conventional journal formats don't, and i think the blogosphere if you will as an entity has drawn a lot of interesting people into journalism. >> bill, do you have a blog? >> no. >> you yourself? >> no. >> dean, do you have one? >> no. >> are you going to have one? >> they are very time consuming. [laughter] >> and both of us have more or
less full time jobs. [laughter] >> you have to do well and to have something -- i mean, the most effective blogs have something to say, and it's not just somebody who just sort of, you know, throws out whatever ideas are in their head, and the one downside of editing i think is that you are further and further away from the news. >> i will say a half dozen times i've gone online to have an open flowing discussion with readers is pretty much a blog experience, and it's kind of fun. >> when you say there's 50* people at the times who have blogs, you mean reporters? >> yeah. >> who in addition to everything else they do also write a blog? >> well, some of them are just hired to be bloggers. >> oh, i see. >> tara parker writes the most popular blogs and sometimes we
print those in the paper, but her job is the health blogger for the no , "new york times". >> over the course of its history, the "new york times" has been awarded honors including 104 pulitzer prizes. how does the "new york times" hope to maintain its journalistic excellence in the new digital age? >> well, i think we're already doing that. i mean, much of the conversation tonight touched on aspects of, i mean, the moving from principally print to principally digital represents some challenges. the pace of everything is accelerated so there's a danger that you make stupid mistakes. you have to build safeguards against that. the internet is sort of ferocious venue for opinions. we talked about the division of news and opinion online the
temptation to slip into, you know, the voice of a something we have to guard against, but at the same time, there's tremendous things you can do online that you just can't do in print. i mean, if you look at how the "new york times" covered upheavals in egypt, we have a videographer on the ground doing the kind of television work that i think most television networks would be proud of. >> uh-huh. you know, it's a particular formality of journalists because we do it in the way we cover things that we jump right not negative result of events, but the reality is the rise of the interpret and newspaper -- internet and newspapers is like the greatest thing to hit us since sliced bread. far more people read us online than before. far more people are reading us.
if you read culture criticism in america newspapers, when i have a kid growing up in new orleans, if you read, you know, a review, you only had access to the times, and now you cannot only read the new york times and the guardian, but the world has gotten bigger, and it's largely a good thing and all the pressures -- we shouldn't focus just on the pressure to maintain the standards as much as we should focus on the explosion that made us more relevant, better, better read. >> news gathering tools are tremendous with the social media. we had a series on but tin's -- putin's russia. we translated the story into russian, posted it on the russian blog site, and
translated responses back into english from russia so that the russia readership enriched out of story from russia. the guy who came up with that idea is a traditional print journalist who just relished the possibilities of this new tool that we have. >> bill, something that just occurred to me, the bloggers who work for the "new york times," are they encouraged to give their opinions? >> no, they are not. >> so in terms of what the blogger is doing -- >> well, most of the columnists on the page who are opinion writers will have, you know, a license to -- they have blogs too. nick is a prolific blogger and also, you know, a wonderful reporter, but, no, the people who blog for the news reporter in the "new york times" are not sanctioned to give opinions. some of the blogs are the work of individuals, some of them are collective endeavors through the
caucus, our political blog which a number of reporters contribute to on a daily basis. >> that's great. >> we follow the same standards in the washington bureau, follow the same standards as everybody else and is in fact a traditional washington reporter we hired if the "washington post". >> one of my students? yes, please. >> good evening, gentlemen, i'm ethan, and as i lawyer, i second the call to go to journalism school. [laughter] regarding wikileaks, to me, one the interesting questions here is i'm a big open government guy and i firmly believe in open government, and i think that as journalists, as reporters, you clearly have a strong interest in open government, and i'm wondering about the cost to open government of running with the wikileaks material because at least to some extent it seems to
be likely to continue to have the effect of reaction of people in congress, people in government saying, wow, this leaking, this transparency was a bad thing, so we won't necessarily support things like foya, like posting document, reports to government agency websites without -- >> you're asking a question right? >> sure, of course. i guess my question is do you think there has been a cost? there has been a reaction, and do you think it was worth, that the cost was worth the benefit of running this material? thank you. >> well, i share the concern, and the one fear that has sort of been at the back ofmy brain throughout this process was that it might become a pretext for people who don't much like some of the freedoms of press has to essentially criminalize the publication of secrets, for
example, amend the espionage act or in another way make criminals out of journalists. that has worried me, and so far, and i can't tell the future, but so far there's not a serious effort to do that, and, you know, clearly, i think it's safe to say that diplomacy hasn't stopped in its track as a result, so there's not that dire consequence that some people were, you know, were predicting, so, you know, there's been a cost so far, i don't see it as a cost that would have justified withholding the information. >> yes? >> first, thank you for the excellent publication and the very interesting evening. i'm dan diamond, a loyal subscriber. i also visit the site 50 million times last month, -- [laughter] i was privileged to hear a conversation, dean may remember
this. it was from another kalb brother, and the question came up in the front page too. two years ago, the question was there's a story on the front page about a tv network's decision to move one of their shows to a certain hour, and was that worthy of front page coverage? that show was the jay leno show moving to 10 p.m. and the times were well ahead of that story. in terms of this week though with the turmoil in egypt occupying the front page, i'm curious what the competition is like to get other news fronted and if you hold off on enterprise reporting if it's that much more what the calculus is. >> well, yeah, it's been a very hard week for nonegypt news to elbow its way to the front page, and that's for sure.
i mean, i don't think anybody would argue that egypt is not hugely important, and we have a lot of good reporters on the ground there, you know, doing great work. you know, yeah it probably means that some stories that would have normally been put on the front page were put inside, and some stories that are holdable are being held. you know, that's the tradeoff you make. you know, i spent my life trying to assure reporters that the front page is not the only page of the newspaper. not a one of them believes me. [laughter] >> bill, if the story is being held, wouldn't it be put on the web? >> it depends. if we have an investigative piece -- if it's competitive, stimes we do -- sometimes we break investigative pieces on the web, but we may hold it for a week like this. >> yes? please. >> hi, i'm corbin hines with pbs
media shift. i wonder what you see with web pieces and collaborations with journalism schools and nyu, and do you see that happening in the future and what other organizations are you looking to work with and how does that benefit coverage? >> yeah, i think so. i think we've moved tentatively and carefully into that realm. working with propublica, a piece that won a pulitzer prize, doing business with them was fairly easy. paul, steve engleberg are editors we have known for many years and they worked for me so they didn't have a proving period to go through.
we have collaborations in the san fransisco area, in chicago, and in texas with online journalism organizations. well, we basically provide space in the printed paper to create a local edition a couple times a week, and those, we think, have been quite successful. we don't hire them or run these organizations, but we get their work and read their stuff carefully before we put it in the paper and subject it to the editing rigors of the "new york times". you know, i think these these days, we're at anker ray of ex-- era of experimentation. without putting the paper at risk, we're game to try it. >> yes. >> i'm jj here with the washington journalism center starting my internship tomorrow with the hill newspaper. my question is when you have two
people applying for a job as a reporter, one guy who worked at a daily newspaper for a couple years, and another guy had an internship for a year and has a masters, who are you going to go with? >> was that from you? [laughter] >> dean, why don't you take that one? [laughter] >> i mean, everybody has their own hiring formula, and bill's may be different from mine. i don't think that that's -- it's hard to discern the two resumés. you look at somebody's writing. you look at the way somebody thinks. you look at the way, at the way somebody talks when you sit down and talk to them. it's hard to know. i mean, if the "new york times" hires, you know, somebody like chris slivers who had a less likely background and now without question is one the best reporters at the paper, i think what i would argue is that the
goal should be, you have to be able to write, not only because for obvious reasons, but the ability to write reflects an ability to think with clarity to my mind. you have to be intensively curious about the world, so, to me, the resumés are less important than what your work shows bouts those skills. >> dean's reference to chris is the fact before chris was in journalism, he was a marine, and, you know, there is i think in roughly a huge amount of hiring these days given the state of the larger economy and the newspaper economy, but one thing we found in the last few years that we look for is a diversity of experience. there are not enough people with military experience, for example, or people who come from rural backgrounds. there are not enough people who are evangelical christians in the newspaper business, and we're not going to go out and
recruit at evangelical churches or the marine recruiting center for journalists, but somebody who comes in and their background gives them a different perspective in the world, then that's a plus. >> as you said a moment ago, journalism right now is in an expermittal stage, that the kind of ideas or beliefs we might have held 15-20 years ago may not be applicable today, but how do we at the end of the day, how can we be comfortable that the solid aspirations of journalism of years ago are going to be continued today in the rush to get things on the air, to get television and radio now, but to get things on the web, the pressures on reporters to get something?
it would seem to me that you got a huge responsibility now way beyond anything that an editor of the "new york times" 20, 30, 40 years ago had. do you feel that? >> gee, you make me want to take an overdose on sleeping pills or something. [laughter] that's a really depressing description. >> well, we'll leave it at the worst. >> well, you know, i think we have to constantly remind ourselves. when i say we, i mean, the quality newspaper organizations, the prices with high standards and aspirations. we have to constantly remind ourselves that just the facts, raw information is a commodity. it's all over the place. people can go anywhere to find out if the stock market went up or down today. they come to us because they want something more than that. they want to know if it's the target they care about, they
want to know why it went up or down. they want us to dive into the fundamentals of the economy and what's working and what doesn't, and that takes time, and it takes reflection. we have to keep telling the world, this is what we offer you. we have to keep reminding ourselves to do that. >> the time and reflection, of course, is a terribly important thing. gents, you've have been terrific. thank you so much for being with us, and thank you all for being with us as well. [applause] thank you. thank you. [applause] [inaudible conversations] >> an uprising in tunisia a little more than a month ago prompted that country's president to leave the country on january 14th. those demonstrations sparked protests throughout the middle east. this afternoon the governor of tunisia's central bank talks
about the global economy. you can see live coverage at 3:30 eastern on c-span. tonight here on c-span2 a look at raising healthy children around the world. then the future of public radio, and a panel discussion by conservatives on cutting federal spending. the primetime lineup begins at 8 eastern. >> editors of the "new york times" and british paper the guardian say they would say by wikileaks' founder. they made those comments during this discussion on the implications of publishing wikileaks documents. columbia journalism school in new york city hosts this hour and a half event. ..
>> called us and said, have an event. it just so happened that we were able to procure the panelists services, not only of the bill keller the times but also alan rusbridger of "the guardian" and jack goldsmith of harvard law school. all of them will be introduced more fully in a minute. that combined with the subject that isn't completely obsessive interest to people interested in journalism and foreign policy
and national security, and pretty high interest to everybody else, too. has made this what is sure to be a very memorable evening. as one small logistical note, which is that courtesy of the "new york times," there's a room behind here, the faculty room. many of you have been there before, and there's free food and drinks after this event in that room for anybody who cares to come. our moderator tonight is emily bell, who is still in her first year on the faculty of columbia journalism school. she has come to us from "the guardian" where she ran digital operations brilliantly. and she is the director of the relatively brand-new house center for digital journalism. i believe somewhere in the audience are the primary
benefactors, lynn and emily. so i wanted to say hi to them come if you are out anywhere. and thank you for what you've done to help make events like this possible. emily, come on up. >> do i have to stand up? >> fair enough. sit down, but takeover and i will go sit down. thanks again, everybody for coming. [applause] >> thank you very much indeed for that introduction. as nick said, this is really auspicious evening because we all watched i think fascinate in the last six months of one of the really great news stories. and also one of the great stories about journalism has unfolded in front of our eyes over the last six months. and it's enormously exciting to have two of the principals here.
with us on the panel tonight. the form of a thing is we're going, we're going to hold a questions for the first half hour. i know i'm awful lot of people in the audience with a great deal of expertise so there will be plenty of time to ask questions yourself. and we have roving microphones. we are really lucky to have as nick said three people on the panel that we should probably begin with jack goldsmith or who i will introduce here first. is on my very far left. lyrically, not -- physically, not politically. he is no harvard law school fester. is also an expert in national security law, internet law, international law, so he's playing that part tonight. so next to him we have my former boss, the chief of "the guardian," alan rusbridger. and next to him we have bill
keller, the editor of the "new york times." i give them their introduction because i see a highly journalistic crowd you probably know exactly what they have been doing. i thought we was certainly at the beginning, and that means beginning with you, alan. would you like to tell us how this incredible story started and what your first contact with wikileaks was and how we got where we are today? >> well, with us it start with a reporter on "the guardian" to read the story of bradley manning, and red hat julian assange was essentially on the run -- i don't think that was too dramatic way of putting it. he was a man who is a treasure trove of documents, and nick
thought it'd be an interesting man to seek out. and eventually made contact. they met in brussels. and nick persuade him that it would be better rather than crudely dumping the stuff on the internet, if he worked with "the guardian" and the mainstream media. and early on in the conversation he introduced the "new york times" as a way of gaining more impact, of making sense of the documents. and so on. and i think, and julian assange agreed, and we took it from there. i think nick is a judgment call has been borne out by events. i think we have three, won was because of the british, the british media laws are not as robust as the american media laws so we thought that would
give a joint enterprise a kind of legal robustness. secondly, we thought it would give us a kind of -- any anybody was going to try to bring down this enterprise through digital attack, it would be more robust with more than one organization. and certainly i think you riley thought that this was going to be a massive task. and in we calculate calculate there were 300 million words in just the cables alone. and you compare that with 2.5 million words in the pentagon papers, this was i think the biggest amount of data that any journalistic organization has ever had to tackle. and it was just going to be necessary to bring as many eyes as possible to the enterprise. so that's how it started. and i think it started well, and as far as we were concerned, up to december the 22nd when we jointly brought down the
curtain, i think and it will. >> will get to that end bit, but just going back, your first contact when nick brought julian assange income as you say the task was huge. what would you -- as an editor, what were you thinking when you took over this enormous amount of data? what were your first concerns in terms of ethics and process? and did you at any point think this is something that will be too difficult to do? >> well, we rapidly realized, and i think bill has said the same, that we realize that the skills we had on the journalistic side were barely up to the task. and it's been sort of quite interesting to watch the meeting of the technological side and editorial side of "the guardian" as people have been dining next door to each other for years, something, david, this is
harold, heralded this is david, and they could do things that neither of them really fully appreciated. so that was a very high learning curve, including how to build such engines across data and how to manipulate the vast amounts of information. so that was the first learning curve. then we went straight to the ethical issues of highly sensitive, whether it's highly secret we can probably discuss but it was highly sensitive information. the difficulties with each group which are all difficult, were all different. the batch was larger historic. afghan was very much not historic. and the cable gate staff had all kinds of issues. the first was are we going to publish these raw? are we going to read back them?
and we rapidly came to the conclusion that we had to redact them. and be completely irresponsible to publish this material raw. >> at that point what was your dialogue with wikileaks about? it went against some of what has been said previously about putting raw data out? >> i think that was the first culture clash to the extent that i think wikileaks came to this from the point of view of assume that they would publish it all wrong or infamy point of view of a total transparency. and i think by the end of the exercise, by defend wikileaks i had to essentially adopt the position of the five mainstream organizations which was a measure of redaction was necessary, and they adopted all of our reductions. so that was the case of these two different which began in different places emerging. >> i think one of the questions that comes up over and over again is coming you explain a
bit about why you have collaborated on this very unique operation. i don't think it's been seen before, how a different news organizations collaborated. but the global media, was pretty global. did you actually think you would've come under pressure the way you were staring at the beginning? it doesn't seem as though you been in the same position in terms of either the government or the law speaker we had a couple of incidences in the past two years where highly, i think highly important but undoubtedly confidential information has been injunctive in a way that i think it's virtually impossible in america. i'm looking to bill and jack. so there was a case involving an oil company called traffic era could been accused -- i must be
careful. dubbing of our talks which are mature in the ivory coast, and lots of people became ill at the same time it. [laughter] >> their internal documents their which any and it was even suggested we could not report how this was being discussed in parliament. those documents ended up on wikileaks. another case involving tax avoidance by barclays bank, mid-19th junction judges woken up in their pajamas and order to take them down. and so had no confidence that these highly sensitive governmental documents would not be injunctive either by the american government or by the british government. and that's why, you know, we felt the first amendment in america was going to be vital.
>> bill keller, let me bring you into this point. >> i am doing just fine. >> we could listen to you all night but would like to you as well. tell me again about the first contact with "the guardian" and when they rang. because i suspect your corporation -- it was slightly different. >> they called me, i would characterize as my mildly paranoid, which is sort of natural state and anybody who is on around with wikileaks people for a while. and wanted to know how we could have a secure conversation. i informed them that the "new york times" is not a national security agency. we don't have secure lines. and so he in a very cautious way laid out for me his proposition, that they were that point half a million documents, more just --
more dispatches richard afghanistan that come from wikileaks and we were being offered to share this exclusive and was i interested. and clearly i was. i had no misgivings about working with alan. i had some misgivings about the trustworthiness of the source, and after consulting with our lawyers i had the same misgivings allen has about really more about british law than american law. i think because the possession of the material in question was then in london, and the ability of the british government to enjoin publication is considerably greater than under america lock. >> images ask at this point when you said you had reservations about this, but wikileaks and julian assange.
if that approach was made to directly what would you have done, do you think? >> i would like to think i would've been generous enough to call alan and asking if he wanted to share the documents. but let's pretend that's what i would have done. [laughter] >> i think we would've proceeded in more or less the same way. i mean, your default position when sources offer you a secret documents, and sources you have not dealt with before is misgivings. sources come with agendas. you don't always do exactly what the rfid a mostly. candidly with their agendas are. and wikileaks was not completely unknown to us. they had just the release footage of military helicopters over baghdad shooting a group of people that included two reuters journalist. >> politically didn't make it easier to make the decision to publish, particularly an
american paper, the fact that it had come through "the guardian"? >> i don't think so. i mean, if anything, i suppose you could argue that it made it a bit more complicated in the respect that, the times is i believe tries to be impartial in sort of an american standards of journalism, european news organizations are more openly partial. you know, and "the guardian" which i respect immensely is in that tradition a paper of the left. so associate ourselves with a paper of the last and then with others entered the picture, all of them, none of them, the weekly standard, you know, the question came up are we going to be, for doing business with wikileaks but for doing business with this sort of leftish press.
>> as it happens we'll get to the point of publication, did you compare experiences about what happened, what was the reaction, the temperature if you'd like, politically and the ambient temperature when you press the publish button. >> alan and i went online to answer reader questions, and it is sort of striking. which reflects all the difference between europe and america and the difference between the guardians audience and ours. he got questions along the lines of how dare you redact these documents. why don't you believe in transparency? publish it all. and i get e-mails that tended to be along the lines of how dare you? you are putting lives at risk, you're jeopardizing national security. the arrogance.
i should say that was in the first days, the opinion, even out a bit as i think as people actually read the articles and learn more about how we handled the material. >> do you feel passionate going to move on to jack in a second, but do you feel you're actually, it felt to me and sometimes the new times was caught between a rock and a hard place because it was pressure, we will talk about the government in a minute, you are showing too little about what you could do, that you are being to too establishment and then obviously it was the fox news faction that said this was an anti-american act. >> right. you know, i mean, we live between a rock and a hard place spent and it didn't get any softer? >> no, it didn't get easier. and, in fact, you know, because there's been sort of a resurgence of e-mails and blog
comments and twitter and tweets in the last week or so since we released this e-book, you know, that dichotomy is still there. we are still getting, i'm so getting messages from people who think that i'm unpatriotic, treasonous son of a and i'm getting some from people who think that julian assange is the messiah, and why, why did i not treat him as such. >> let's bring jack in. could you sort of frame some of the issues before us, both coming legally and if you like, ethically. what's going on in the government at this point do you think? >> there were a lot of crosscutting political -- isom and i talked to a few people in the current but it seems obvious there are a lot of crosscutting political and legal considerations for the government to try to figure out what to do.
it just kind of happened over a long period of time, the government knew this was coming it didn't take any steps until last summer. of primitive steps at least it seemed. and the problem was that there was a much the government could do. there was no real technological response they could make to stop this and happen. there's no feasible military response that could make. no political response they could take. so the only tool the government was left with was some kind of legal response. there's been enormous political pressure to do something about this. right now they are considering bringing some type of prosecution against julian assange. the problem is there are just enormous legal hurdles to bring prosecution against a. how do you get into the united states? ill be a very difficult procedure. it's not at all clear we need to get to the united states. and then once he gets here, it's not at all clear that there could be a successful
prosecution. the laws governing are criminalizing the dissemination and publication of classified information of people who are not inside the government are extremely vague and old, almost 100 years old, and they've never, ever in 220 years of her history enforced against a journalist, a member of the media, or even a third party was not a journalist to happen to come into possession of classified information outside the government. so the justice department has a lot of legal hurdles. been another problem for them is it's very difficult to imagine, i can't think of one, the theory that would allow them even if they could get over these hurdles, allow them to prosecute assange that would also sweep up bills of journalism because assange is very similar situated to the journalism soliciting information if that's what he did from bradley manning. then there are political issues on top of that our crosscutting as well. those are the legal issues. >> how badly do you think the
department of justice want a prosecution on this, what are the tensions there? >> my sense is there's a lot of little pressure from the top whether from cold or the white house, i don't know. survey, political pressure from capitol hill. it's very hard to, precisely because of the extreme difficulty of winning this prosecution. and other difficulties of distinguishing american journalism, their everyday jobs. it's a very momentous step to take to bring this prosecution. and i imagine that cover most of the department of justice has a long position of restraint against journalists and enforcing criminal laws that even subpoenas against the media. and i imagine that there's a great discussion about the series implications of going after someone like assange because of the application for the first amendment and for the press agenda. the government, if it tries and fails, it looks even weaker and worse.
although on the other and maybe that's a solution. i imagine some people are thinking we are under pressure to do something. if we do something and the court tells us we can't do it then it's not our fault. >> if you were a betting man, if you're a betting man would you say the prosecution is going to be brought or not? >> i think that the political pressure is of enormous pressure and will be brought. i don't think it will succeed. >> that's a good point. we will talk specifically about julian assange. because the point at which letters of publication, we haven't talked about -- bill, you and the "new york times" fell out with assange pretty quickly. >> we got into the dock as earlier than alan, although we're both pretty deep in his doghouse now. >> the way that you ended up was
really through a piece that you rant on the front of the new times about assange, and also he said a lack of willingness -- [inaudible] >> well, it seemed ideal and i'm happy to explain it. just a for the record, i never met julian assange in person, but we've had a number of phone conversations. the first we had, all of them who was involved was against the "new york times." the first one came after the publication of afghanistan warlock or he was upset we did not link to the wikileaks website, and that we made a point of not linking to the wikileaks website. obviously, readers of the new times are intelligent enough to find the wikileaks website without our help so it was, in turn a symbolic gesture on our part. but the reason we did it was
because assange had made it clear at the point that they did not intend to redact the documents anyway. those documents contained we know many names of ordinary afghans who, when they were approached by american military officers, where officials, had answered questions. and their names appeared innocently enough in these warlocks. and the publication of those names put their lives at risk. we and "the guardian" and subsequent the other news organizations were careful to redact the names of people who might be killed or thrown in jail. if their names became public. but at that early stage of assange was not only reluctant and doing that redaction. he actually according to this interesting book that "the guardian" has just published told "the guardian" reporters that they were informants, they
had it coming. >> let's just talk as well about the profile, because you said, and as a pretty personal. you have gone on the record as saying that was a routine way to cover this kind of story. surely it's not routine to treat somebody who is a source in that way, is it? the "new york times" hasn't done it before. >> you have to go back to what we wrote about daniel ellsberg at the time of the pentagon papers, and i haven't done that. it felt -- it certainly felt routine at the time, given that we're hearing from a number of people within wikileaks, the surprise in distress about the way of assange was handling himself. that seems to be something that should be included in a profile of this manhood acquired a large profile. profile. the unhappiness of some
wikileaks members over their refusal, initial refusal to redact, their comments about his management style and so on. you know, i mean, he's called it a smear and a hatchet job. i don't think it was those things at all. we didn't say, well, he's our source, we will go easy on him. >> the fact that you have a slightly sort of if you like in a mediated relationship with him through alan, without action is something of a relief, was it a frustration? >> at times it was both. i mean, different times it was a relief and a problem. and particularly when he started to become sort of visibly agitated at the times, the first over our decision not to link. second, he took offense at a profile we wrote about bradley manning, and then subsequently
his anguish over the profile that john burns wrote on our front page at each of those occasions i proposed to come over, the within this account out and have dinner. i thought you know, there's something known in the trade as source of maintenance. it involved a certain amount of, you know, -- >> dinner last night. >> dinner and bridges, you know, things of that sort, and conversation. you try to explain why you do what you do and they explain why they do things the way they do. >> alan, just to bring you in here because you maintain relationship with wikileaks after the times had been cut, though you actually enrage them somewhat idly by insisting on supplying or continuing to supply information to the "new york times." how did you all split with wikileaks with your
collaborators? >> well, to problems. one is about the nature of what julian assange was. he's a source, questionable. is he a source? because actually it appears to me he's probably not a source. he's kind of a new breed of intermediary or entrepreneur or activist. >> or a journalist. >> orchard was. he calls himself an editor in chief which i think is probably a smart thing to do because it brings in the first minute and that's why he was keen to be a publisher as well. so he is many things. and he wears different hats at different times. and he's also building a wikileaks brand. good luck to him, but the wikileaks brand says mainstream media people who you can't trust. our interests are not completely
online. but i think this business of ending a source when he chooses to be, and sank i need protection a source is a bit problematic. and the second problem is, for us was, the second general problem is this problem of communication. at a certain point he just disappeared, and we now know he was living the life -- we had no idea where he was. and we couldn't bring him out. we couldn't speak to him. we couldn't speak to him. we couldn't use e-mail. we could just too encrypted messaging at points where he would pop up, which were increasingly -- a lot of this was to -- >> you knew where his lawyer w was.
>> that was as the story i'm about to go, that was not a reliable source of channel of communication. but i think what bill says is right. in normal circumstances you could've met for a drink or a chat, picked up the phone and a lot of these misunderstandings i think would not have happened. so i think sometimes, i even wrote julie in a letter in december, an old-fashioned letter and posted it to suffolk. >> on paper. >> on paper. to try to put, had a conversation, normally on occasions we all sat down face-to-face, he might begin angry but normally by the end would be fine. so there was a communication, the nature of the beast and who is he and how many has easy wearing. and then i'll this collided, you know, but -- rather unhappily with the swedish sex charges which have nothing to do at all with our collaboration over the
journalism, the documents. and at some point while julian was, in my view, wrongly imprisoned, communication almost impossible, except for his sister, somebody sent the original report who was the good guy, the information about the sex charges. ethical dilemma. do you say he's our source, we should write about this because we have to protect him? that didn't seem to us as a terrible position. at that point the women in the sex charge? , not that they have been any charges, but the sex activation? were being absolutely rubbished on the internet. and i have to say by julian's, he described us as a honey trap which i take which i take to
mean that they deliberately set out to entrap julian, for which there was no evidence yet. i believe that to be the case. and we thought it's about time, we have an obligation to set out in a public demand what we knew. because that's what journalists do. and we went to julian's -- we are attending to this. he said please give us a couple of days. 5:00 fight and i will come back to you and then you can run his side of the case. 5:00 came and they didn't. i think at that moment julian felt very crossed with us. i think he felt it was a breach of trust. it was, you know, a unique set of circumstances. >> a question i would like for both of you, julian assange isn't come he doesn't have the luxury of your an investigative journalist and he doesn't have an organization of scale that
you have behind them. you know, his life is altered forever now your you both have published books, e-books, and a paper book this week. which kind of early capitalize on your knowledge of him. do you not feel the duty of care? norge you cannot make a case of saying he is pretty much your. >> he made a million pounds to write the book, too. unit, he has the perfect ability to say what he wants to say. if you follow the voice on twitter that says i take to be julian, he is not backward, coming forward and saying what he says. we are both a sleazy news organizations. >> you both favored he smelled.
>> but i mean, the point is come in as much as he is a source or a partner in this collaboration, if god forbid evidence came to court, i would be completely -- and assure bill would in terms of defending him. and in respect of what we did, i mean, he's done some stuff on his own website that i'm not sure i would have done, and i don't see any need to defend that. but in respect to the partnership and a joint exercise completely shoulder to shoulder, and i've got great admiration for him in respect for a lot of what he has done. but the swedish sex stuff has nothing to do with that at all. >> if it should end up as jack was saying, public and prosecution, would you be standing shoulder to shoulder with wikileaks? >> well, i'm not a lawyer.
probably the time lawyers would prefer i not declare what we would do in a court of law. but i would say what i would to outside the court of law. i absolutely agree with what jack said earlier. there's very hard to conceive of a prosecution of julian assange that would stretch the law in a way that would be applicable to us. and i think whatever one thinks of julian assange, certainly american journalists and other journalists should feel a sense of alarm that any legal action that tends to punish assange for doing essentially what journalists do. that is to say, any use of the law to criminalize the publication secret. >> and a jacket just on that point, you're very clear that there's no difference between journalists and julian assange which is something you disagree with in the past. >> not in terms of the law. it's very hard -- i'm not a
lawyer, but just so we're clear on the record, i considered several occasions i think somebody in my job should be fairly humble about deciding who gets to call themselves a journalist. we don't pass out membership cards to that fraternity he wants to call himself that, that's fine but i said i don't think of him as a journalist in the form that we practice. but in terms of his right to be protected for publishing secrets, i think we do stand alongside him. >> jack, you've been on the end of inquiry. how different are they? >> i would agree as a institution wikileaks is quite different from the "new york times." that is obviously true. but i think that the job that assange and wikileaks is performing is functionally identical to what bill does our
national security reporters do every day. they talk to people in the come and he tried to get into tell them things. they try to get into to classify things. they helped him to urge him to give them documents that are classified. and so, and that's part of his very competent and strange can we have in america where the government tries to play the game of keeping secrets it and people if they disclose them. but the press has, to some degree, protected. it's a game that is played at every day in washington, d.c., and i don't see how reporter is a different in his relationship to government official leaking classified information from appeals journalist. >> just moving away from a site from wikileaks and more about the overall impact of the cable and the story. and we've heard -- we've had this debate over the past weeks and months which is, just how significant is it based on terms of the impact of the story but
also in terms of the impact is having on journalism. and bill, i know i think i heard you over the weekend sake it turned journalism on its intricacies to kind of give you equity nasty shake. >> yeah, but journalism has been transformed in the last few years. there's no question about it. the migration of both the audience and the revenues to the internet have changed our business model. they have accelerate the speed of everything. i think it even significantly privacy and secrecy. all that happened before trannineteen honesty that i scene. i think in that respect they are a representative of a trend that is at-large in journalism, but they didn't initiate it or they aren't the first manifestation of it. they are a very big meditation of it. >> how has it made you think
about the things that press the "new york times" didn't feel it had to get about four, might have to think about now? doesn't change the way you do your job? for instance, if you're going to be using the web to store large amounts of data are archived files, the idea that this is not a public space, actually a commercial space. and if an amateur decides for commercial reasons it doesn't want to let you have its surface space, if why alan says yes some parts of negotiating the right technical skills within the organization to redact and sort the data, you know, in other words, are you treating this moment are were you thinking this would just happen more infrequent in the future and we need to address these issues? >> i think it's a different from what's gone on before only in scale. we have redacted documents before. we should have historic
documents. we are worried about security of documents that were electronically stored before. never on this scale. we've never really, as alan said, had this kind of an archive delivered at once and had to get our arms around it. so i think it probably has been accelerated our department of the skills to handle large amounts of data. there certainly are a few people in our newsroom who are a lot smarter about how to create a searchable database, how to protect it, how to search it in a constructive way than we were before. so in that respect it's been a real education. >> alan, do you feel that, bill is saying this, journalism has been changed for a while. this is a prison in which to view a. how do you feel "the guardian," it's a much bigger impact on "the guardian" which is brought into the world of sort of the
key news that people fight on the story all the time and. >> i think the good thing of the mainstream media has been that it shows the skills that we have, have been really valuable. this story would have had a fraction of the impact that it has had it not been global. our european alleys, going through and funny stories which we are not sitting there on trees waiting to be picked. there was an awful lot of expert information from people who have been in those wars, afghanistan, pakistan and iraq, defined it, from russia, from china, experts on climate change. it took a lot -- and i think julian assange has said that that business of finding verifying, contextualizing, that has been a tremendous affirmation of old media skills. i think on the technological front it's been a real
challenge, a wakeup call. the business of making whistleblowing saved i think is something that we haven't given enough thought to come and i think we don't have enough expertise in. the business of stripping that out of documents in order, you know come in an age where everything is -- i don't think we have thought enough about. i think the challenge from organizations like wikileaks, about the nature of transparency is a challenge to us. it's made us think about, and the cover. i think i would really like to see an academic institution, the way the sky hasn't fallen in with the biggest transparency any of us has known. look at the upside and downside because i think that might be important about how government works in the future. and a third that is the publishing debt. the sort of make the document
save. and the publishing debt, i think there are huge legal and technological and future of journalism questions there. involved in these other kinds of organizations, wikileaks, who want to get down to the business of publishing documents. julian is erecting a whole part where he's going scientific journalism. this will not be like the old mainstreamainstreaming. we'll show you the documents. there is something in that. and also the legal challenges. open leaks, they don't want money but they do want server capacity so they want to be able to do whatever technologies do. this mesh all his information up into -- tiny pieces and they
want our servers in order to post them. we haven't begun to think of the legal implications of having these tiny pieces and whether that's a good idea or bad idea. is a kind of issues that have to start thinking about. >> these are huge issues. how does this impact on the regulation of the internet and how we should think about what inbred we would call the freedom of the press in that context? >> right. i do think it might tend to agree with bill the support of an evolution than a sharp break the what's going on in the last 10 years. at least 10 years. the last 10 years, this is the commish of the digitization of information and the fact that the costs of copying and disturbing information is nearly zero. that combined with enormous growth of the secrecy system has led to a dynamic were secret stuff has been flowing out of the government for a lot her unprecedented weight in the last 10 years.
and i do think though, alan, also that the key innovation here is the kind of technological empowerment of the whistleblower. and i think that while these documents action, there's so many of them and there's so many people involved, the truth is there's a debate about how harmful they have been at all. they are super, not top secret. these are not intelligent documents. and so i think that this event is going to seem less significant over time. it will be seen as a larger continuum of the digitization of information. the great difficulty the government has been keeping secrets. and is going to be in ours race between the government and the media. the media will transform itself. there will be 1 million wikileaks. the "new york times" will be a wikileaks. and i predict that all of these institutions will be all of these types.
and go be an arms race with a government. the government would block itself down. so that's going to be the dynamic. and i think the government will largely lose that arms race. >> bill, earlier in the week you're quoted as saying your think about something less of transparency with al-jazeera which is kind of a mini wikileaks. just want to ask you now, what are the applications of that? it seems to me there's relief in having some -- julian assange who takes delivery of these things but if you're taking delivery of them how can you be sure as editors and editors in chief of the organizations that you can say our secure? >> that's one of the principal complications in this question of whether you want to open up the kind of dropbox of your own, or what i've taken to calling it easy path way for whistleblowers. we've had people in our system reporting looking at this for a
while, technically it's not that hard. there are some legal questions involved. the biggest question really is if something comes in over the transom and it's essentially anonymous, how do you bet it? that does complicate the business of finding out information is legitimate. that's why we have not yet decided to go ahead with this project. we made but that's the question we have to get past. >> jack pointed out to be a million wikileaks. >> i suppose we have been. people have been giving us documents since 1821. but i think there is going to be competition between us and the sort of opened wikileaks style operations. bill is right. we are now having to find just how difficult it is.
they are spiegel, dropbox system. if you speak to daniel, as i did last week in munich, he says it's a bit harder than the old media guys thing. and he's offering to build it for us and create a little at "the guardian," a box. it would, straight to us, but there are all kinds of complications project is document, you don't have to guess such with the source but there are real problems which every way you turn. >> is competition between traditional media and the new wikileaks is also quite strangely competition with national intelligence services who are also in the business of trying to uncover secrets of other governments. and i think it will have -- that's what all of our intelligence agents did year
they prefer to do it and know about themselves alone and now they have competition. competition that is going to publish it, going to shape in ways that's going to alter the way intelligence services think about spying. >> do also think, just to return briefly, given assange is a source or wears a number of hats, but is an intermediary. the generation that sees wikileaks can commission and carrying it out rather better than the press? an awful lot of people do feel that the mainstream media has not flowed very well in the last 10 years in terms of financial collapse, both legal and otherwise. isn't this just a wider problem? if so, how do you reinvent yourself quick do you want to reinvent yourself for the part of the audience?
>> it's a useful thought experiment, just wonder what would've happened if nick davis hadn't sought out julian assange. i don't know what the infidel story within wikileaks at that point was. i suppose they had just decided to publish. i think the story would have very little impact. because the average number of the public logging into that database would have done will be done on day one. just a massive in parrish will be. the number of people who have searched through the information or found anything of value would have been tight. there would have been intelligence services and people who would've been keen interest in it, but it would have almost no political impact. that's what i say actually we shouldn't be too craven about that, standing up for what traditional journalism has done. it has found the stories. it's given -- it's done so in an
entirely safe way. they worked exhaustively to make sure that those people were safe. >> i'm not so sure that when i played a mind game that you propose that it comes out quite the same way. i absolutely agree with you that the public was will serve. and actually wikileaks was well served by having mainstream news organizations given professional attention, highlight what was important. treat it responsibly and get wide circulation. but in this day and age i think if the metro had just been dumped on a website, without being given an advanced to news organizations, some very interesting people would have found it and gotten into it, and
then as you know, very well, we're in the era of crowd sourcing. and most crowds include people with a lot of expertise. so i do rather think that what you would have people mining and finding things using it for different coming even competing games, using it to attack a governmengovernment, attack a policy, defended policy, to defend a government. and there would've been probably a great deal of confusion. but i don't think they would've gone unnoticed. or even an mind. >> i'm sure that's right. but whether it would have, i mean, what with the result of the income what would that have been? wouldn't have been cohesive to the extent it would have had the same impact through simultaneous publishing?
[inaudible] >> having out all the stores we thought we could find, i just waited and said anybody think we're missing stuff? what would you be searching for? give us some search terms, date and we will look. and we had about 3000 replies to that, which we did look at, you know, it hadn't occurred to us to look up the child who disappeared in portugal. it turned out there was quite an interesting story there. and every conspiracy theorist in the world would check out their particular conspiracy. and it produced some material, but actually it didn't. it didn't produce the sort of gems that i thought it would. >> i wonder if somebody would've teased up the cable about tunisia and if it would have had the same impact that --
[inaudible] >> you would have. you wouldn't have just left these amazing documents to the bloggers. you may not have a quite as many intense resources on them as you did having access to them and having the first shot at them. but i'm sure you would have put a lot of reporters plowing through those, and so it would have still gotten -- >> the warlocks itself didn't reveal as many stories i think as these did. so i think it has to would have had a large impact because i think he would have in combination with bloggers and crowd sourcing -- >> we would have been in the feeding frenzy. >> exactly. >> we mentioned early on alan, those collective decisions made on the 22nd of december to bring down the curtain as you put it. what did you mean by that? >> well, originally we had decided we would carry on the first week of january, but we had anxiety at that point about
these documents and a leaking. [inaudible] >> i understand the anxiety. >> there was a moment where we thought they would all turn up in a beirut newspaper. and that was a strange man in russia or belarus who would be selling the documents. he turned up suddenly at an austrian newspaper in norway. so there was a sense these documents were out and about. and i thought at the moment we are very happy with what we've done. we have defended and it's been a good exercise in collaboration, over the next month, anything could happen. these documents could turn up anywhere, redacted or unredacted. so let's make a announcement without any our exclusive relationship with julian. he is now free to do what he wants with them.
but it was a marker, and i'm glad we did that. and i'm glad that we put it on the record. in the telegraph the children claiming he kicked us out. >> this is the u.k. paper that now picks up the relationship the? >> and so he would have a lot of other news organizations, you know, and i think that's good. good luck to them. i was as long as they behaved, as long as they behave with a similar kind of ethical framework as we did, because they would undoubtedly find things that we did not find. but i think we all had anxieties about the point where we were apparently the exclusive partners, but, in fact, information was not going to start leaking out across the world informs we might not understand. >> this is a footnote in point
of clarification. it doesn't mean that we stopped, nor has "the guardian" stopped using. we have three quarters of a million documents, counting the embassy cables. there are some small fraction of them that have been read and an even smaller fraction of them that have been published. it's just sort of -- >> amazing resource for the to come. >> you can go back into the document and say okay, what do we know about that? >> so just to clarify this for people, when you say, get some of which i think people are not entirely clear on, you actually still have access to the entire cache of data? they are somewhere on your collective servers, but you feel you have gone as far as you can in terms of turning up important things. >> i won't say the obvious things but the things that occur
to us after we all sort of brainstorming that will be interesting to search for because that's really the way, you search for term, a subject, a country, a person. but there's lots of things we didn't think to search for. both prior to the last week or so we would not have thought to search in egypt. but suddenly he pops up and, of course, now we have this resource we can go to and see if there's anything that we out to know about him. otherwise was unattainable. >> bill, you said earlier this week he felt that probably some of the stories would have had some effects on tunisia, although again that is not necessary verified as fact. >> we believed him pull reporting in tunisia, these documents didn't start the uprising but they clearly feel they were on the social media all over the place in tunisia and fueled the anger, the reports of the high living of the royal elite.
and i suppose you could say that to the extent that tunisia inspired the events in egypt, the wikileaks had some sort of second affect in egypt as well. >> jack, we talked about what the finest of the future, jack, we talked about possible prosecution but what are the wider things now that the u.s. government is thinking about? you said they had a lot of warning really that this was going to happen, they knew this data cache was coming from sometime. is there a speeding up now and the thought process? >> there has been especially since the warlocks of last summer. there's been a speeding up of kind of you what to do about this. ..
>> okay. we have ready mics in the audience, and if you have a question, please hold your hand up. if you could say just briefly who you are and where you are from, and please try to frame it as a question and stand up so everybody can see you. >> i'm a former british dip employee mat, and i've been reading bows wick itselfs -- wikileaks itself, and it's interesting. particularly not so much the
harm, not so much the criteria of harm to individuals, but the possible political cons queen of certain cables which i believe are many of which are extraordinary significant. there's one, for instance, which i think the guardian reported, but the "new york times" did not that revealed the u.s. is conducting secret ariel surveillance. in the lebanese time, that's an extraordinary revolution. no doubt they have hezbollah positions that is undoubtedly shared with israel. this is a toxic revelation in lebanese terms. i may be wrong, but the "new york times" chose not to talk about that cable, and i think the guardian did, but again, i may be wrong about that. was there a process of considering the political consequence of these cables?
>> bill, do you want to talk about that first? again, you actually went to the state department, didn't you? and actually showed them the material; is that right? >> the cables, not the articles. we did decide not to run it, it just never came to our attention. the collaboration between the times and guardian was not that we were showing each other what we planned to write about in detail, and as far as i know we never had a discussion one way or the other whether the flights over lebanon should be written about. the mechanics of it evolved on the military dispatches we will little interaction with the government because they department want much. the pentagon's reaction was dealing with, engaging with us implies an endorsement of what we've done of the the state department took a different tact even though they were furious with us for having the fact that
the documents were out there, and deeply worrieded about what the consequences would be for our relations with a number of countries, and the procedure that we settled on with them is that a couple of days before we were planning to publish an article on subject x, -- gleefing this -- >> leaving this program to go live now to the u.n.. secretary general is making remarks on the recent political tensions in the middle east and africa. this is live on c-span2. >> ladies and gentlemen, glued to see you. as you know, i came back from los angeles and had my schedules there. i came back this morning. we are closely watching yemen and other countries. we viewed the recent events in libya with particularly grave concern.
the current situation is unpredictable and can go in any number of directions, many of them dangerous. at this critical juncture, it is em pertive that we maintain uniform and act together to ensure a prompt and peaceful transition. i want to underscore what my special advisers on the prevention of genocide and the responsibility to protect said yesterday. the reporting nature and scale of the effects on civilians are violations of international humanitarian and human rights law. i condemn them, lousy, without quality education, and those responsible must be held accountable in courts of law. ladies and gentlemen, in the middle east today, we see people especially young people pushing
the frontiers of freedom. yesterday, the security counsel and legal states each sent strong and unequivocal message, no violence and respect for human rights. the word has spoken with one voice. the government of libya must meet its responsibility to protect its people. in the days ahead, i will engage widely with the member states. i convene a meeting of my senior advisers on libya and the broader situation in the region. just a few moments ago, i also confront with the legal bar of states. tomorrow, i will under secretary general to egypt.
he will be accompanied by the objective secretary of economy and social commission for western asia, esquire as well as colleagues from from the united nations, the office of the high commissioner of human rights and department. this weekend, i expect a senior official of the political officers to travel to to knee sha. as you may know, u.n. high commissioner for human rights dispatched a team to tunisia. the welcome the commission of human rights counsel to convene a special session on friday including the possibility of establishment of international inquiry into the defense in libya. we remain extremely concerned
about the humanity concentration. the high commissioner for refugees has the appeal to libya's neighbors in europe and north africa, not to return people fleeing the country. let me conclude by repeating here what i have said almost daily since this crisis began. the violence must stop. attacks against civilians are serious violence of international humanitarian and human rights law. those responsible for brutally shedding the blood of innocent must be punished. thank you very much. >> did the security counsel at one point putting a ban on
freezing the assets because that would be sort of, you know, pressure. it seems the u.n. doesn't know what to do. >> i understand that countries or the regional negotiations for the international community considering a broad range of options. >> mr. secretary general, you tried the power of persuasion through a long phone call of 40 minutes, yet came out on tuesday with a very aggressive speech which many people condemned around the world. what else is am ammunition that you have beside pleading and calling for stop of the violence? what can be done to force the libya regime to listen? >> as far as i'm concerned as secretary general of the united nations, that is why i have strongly condemned, again and
again on what he had done. it's totally unacceptable. after such long and extensive discussions and after my such a strong urge and even appeared to him, he has not heeded to that. this is not acceptable, and that is why the security counsel and legal bar of states have taken strong measures, and i'm sure that the international community are considering broad range of options to -- >> just as was said, would you support the security counsel to move in a stronger way because the killing is continuing in libya, in a stronger way to force his hand through sanctions and through money and sources, freezing, would you support such measures? >> again, i leave it to the
security counsel to discuss and to comment the future course of action. they have taken very strong action yesterday, and for any further course of actions depending upon the development of the situation, i'm sure that the security counsel and the international community will consider this one. >> there are calls in international community, secretary general, for no fly zones and sanctions, and yet after three hours of negotiation, the security counsel had a statement, not even a presidential statement. are you satisfied with that, and do you think the united nations security counsel will do and can do more? why do you think they will reconsider? >> again, as i said in my previous interview with the journalists, the specific measures like no fly zone and
some other specific sanctions including specific sanctions, the ones to which security counsel need to comment. the situation is developing rapidly toward the very dangerous situation, therefore, we need to very carefully monitor the situation. i will continue to urge in the strongest possible terms for us to stop the violence, protect the human rights and the civilian population. this human rights counsel is meeting on this special session on friday, so let us watch how international community is doing and very closely those concerning, and that's why i'm dispatching my senior advisers to the region for very effective
conversation. >> secretary general, do you consider to establish your own investigation into the situation in libya as you did in the other case? i understand that the security counsel was considering that point yesterday. will you investigate? >> again, i will have to wait until counsel of human rights counsel will discuss it in private. i understand that the establishing in international investigate inqirly commission -- inquiry commission is on their agenda, so i will see after all these discussions. >> would you ask he step down in
>> now, all these issues will have to see the development of situation. international communities have spoken strongly. now, i, again, all these are things that need to be determined by the people of libya for their future and i'll continueally follow this situation and i'll have an opportunity of addressing this issue with you. thank you. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> u.n. secretary general saying this afternoon that the u.n. is watching the political unrest in middle east with great concern, and he condemns the attacks on
political protesters saying those attacking the protester should be prosecute the to the fullest extent of the law. tomorrow, representativings are sent to egypt to watch the situation there and in tunisia also. a special counsel will be convening to examine the upheaval in the middle east. jay carny announced president obama would make a statement on libya today or tomorrow. not more specific on that with a timetable. the president was on board the plane flying back from the medical center in maryland, and he's scheduled to meet with secretary of state, hillary clinton. if the president makes remarks about libya, we'll have that for you on the c-span networks.
[inaudible conversations] >> good afternoon, everyone. welcome. i'm kal and direct the brooklyn center for international relations here, and i'm happy to see this is a really packed house. happy to see such a packed house on the second day of the quarter. we're going to talk about wikileaks as i think everybody here knows. it's clear to me and i think many of us that wikileaks has really sent shock waves through the foreign policy community and the broader diplomatic community here and abroad. it generated media attention and debate on whether the founder is a hero or a villain. we know there's more coming. this is an evolving story. what's less clear, i believe, is what the significance of
wikileaks really is for american foreign policy and the world of foreign politics generally. that's what we're here to talk about today, the broader implications of wikileaks and to put it in perspective and context. for example, secretary of state, sorry, secretary of defense, robert gates, called the consequences modest. >> can you speak closer to the mic? >> the mic is not amplified, but it's just for c-span purposes, but i will try to speak up. if you wonder why you can't hear it, that's why. i contrast, congressman peter king of new york called wikileaks a terrorist organization and a clear and present danger to the united states. within the u.s. government, there's a wide variety of views how serious this is, what it means, and what the implications are. we're going to sort through that today or at least take a first
stab. we invited three experts to talk about it. let me also mention today is the first of two sessions on this topic. on january 20th, we'll do another session. date is known and time and location to be determined. it features jeff cowen and also the former director of the voice of america and alongside him will be derek sheer, professor at occidental college and former u.s. ambassador to finland. we'll talk about the diplomacy effects of the debate in the next session. each speaker will say a few opening words, five minutes or so. i'll pose questions, have a conversation, and then we'll open it up for questions. when you ask a question, you have to talk into the microphone, again, not an
amplified microphone, but please wait for the microphone and keep your questions clear, concise, and on point. again, this is broadcast on c-span, so we don't want to have long rambling questions. we want to have a real dialogue, so again, please wait for the microphone most importantly. to my right is dalia, a senior political scientist at rand, and most recently associate director of the ram center for middle east public policy and written extensively about the peace process, iran, iraq, and broader issues in the reason. she'll speak second actually. first, is amy to my leaf, my colleague here, a professor at the ucla school of public affairs, a reresearch fellow at the hoover institution and faculty member here at the burkle center.
to amy's left is my colleague, rob, an assistant professor and expert on role -- on the roles of di ploam diplomacy. there's three speakers with broad aspects on this debate. we're going to run 20-30 minutes amongst us, and then turn it over to you for questions. amy? >> thanks, kal. thank you for coming out today. this is a moving target and a great opportunity for us to think to the about how to make sense of the wikileaks era in which we live. i wanted to start us off by actually trying to debunk a couple myths, talk about one big difference between wikileaks and mainstream media, and then offer thoughts about what the potential implications of wikileaks could be. myth number one, which i think is really important and often
overlooked in the coverage of wikileaks, is the idea that these documents that have been released are facts. documents are not facts. the colleagues, former chancellor of ucla has a saying that a cable or a memo is one person's perspective designed to do three things, advocate a particular position, report information, and make the author look smart, not necessarily in that order. [laughter] a cable, for example, hypothetically that says a u.s. government official has met with a foreign official, and that foreign official believes that the u.s. should attack a third country, call it country x, does not mean that that foreign official's government actually holds the position that the united states should attack country x. now, it could be that that's the case, but it could be that that is actually the minority view in the foreign government, and the official is trying to convince
the united states that, in fact, it's the majority view and not the minority view. maybe the foreign official is posturing to get something from the united states. maybe the u.s. official misunderstood the conversation. maybe the u.s. official had his or her own agenda and is reporting this particular meeting and omitting other meetings that don't serve that foreign policy agenda, or maybe the entire cable is overtaken by events. things have changed, and actually that conversation is so outdated that it is not the position of that foreign official anymore, that the u.s. should attack country x. we need to be, i think, very cautious and very careful even press reporting of wikileaks documents and not treat them as factings. they are not. that's myth number one. i think the upshot here is that in some ways the wikileaks data
dump actually obscures some realities of u.s. foreign policymaking as much as people believe it clarifies those realities. some caution in how we deal with these kinds of documents. myth number two which is really propagated by julian is that transparency is always bad and always good. i'm a researcher to writes and publishes open source information about the intelligence communitiment i'm a big fan of openness in government. i have a really great first amendment lawyer, an i work very hard because i think it's important to try to make public some of the critical deficiencies of our secret agencies, but that said, there is a limit to transparency. there is a careful balancing that has to be done between the interest of protecting information to guard national security and the interest of making that information known to
promote the public interest or to promote transparency. secrecy, in fact, has been used since the earliest days of the republic. jornlings washington was a -- george washington was a great spy master, ran his spies, favored invisible ink, and secrecy has been a part of the american government since our earliest days. i think there's a sense in wikileaks tapping into this in american culture that we are skeptical and rightly so of secrecy in a democratic system. harry truman was worried when he thought about creating the central intelligence agency about the possibility of creating an american gastapo. we are we weary and it's that wreer rights lawness that wikileaks taps into.
that leads me to the big difference. this is a policy matter ring not a legal matter. i can't speak to the particular legal issues, but in my view when you think about the "new york times" or "washington post," mainstream media, they are owned by americans who explicitly consider the balance of keeping something secret and publishing in the newspaper for everybody to see, and they take that responsibility quite seriously. transparency is important, but transparency has limits because they are considering national security interests at the same time they are trying to publish information. wikileaks, by contrast, is run by an australian who considers himself an anarchist. his interest is in exposing the united states, and his view is that transparency should have no limits. that's what he thinks is the
noble enterprise of wikileaks. there is no balancing or little balancing in what wikileaks is doing. to think about what is in the interest of american national security to reveal or to withhold. just to give you some historical examples, as many of you know in the cuban missile crisis in 1962s "washington post" and "new york times" got wind that something was afoot in cuba and kennedy's white house asked those papers to hold publication of any information happening on the island of cuba for those critical 13 days so the president and closest advisers could deliberate in secret. the historical consensus is those 13 days led to a much better decision process and outcome than had that information been made public and kennedy been force to act in the first few days of the crisis. in fact, the transcript shows if forced to make a decision on the
first day, the consensus was leaning towards the side of an air strike that could have caused a nuclear war. there's a long history of balancing security interests and the paper. i don't see that in the wikileaks' case. to a great extent, we don't know yet how much potential harm there is from the release of these hundreds of thousands of documents. my copanellists here may disagree with me. as kal mentioned, the administration itself is divided about how serious this wikileaks business is. secretary clinton arguing it's quite serious indeed, and secretary gates saying it's not a big deal after all, and countries will negotiate with us because it's in their interest to negotiate with us whether or not they think the secrecy will be maintained. i think there's a real -- it's
too son to tell in many respects. as we know, the cia created a task force to assess what the potential implications releases could be, and it has the unfortunate acronym of the wtf task force. [laughter] you can't make that stuff up. [laughter] i will say in the immediate term, it appears that the obama administration's reaction may be the most damaging aspect of the wikileaks episode so far in the near term, and i say that for a few reasonsment first is that the possible prosecution under the espionage agent does open -- act does open the door of prosecuting other journalists, and that raises other concerns. second, the area much more in my lane is the implication for intelligence. we have spent ten years almost
since 9/11 moving the intelligence community from a culture that prizes need to know, right, that hordes information, that doesn't like to share and move that intelligence community to a culture that prizes need to share, right? responsibility to share. already, we can see a tamping down of sharing of information and a concern that maybe the pendulum has swung too far and that maybe the old days of hording and protection are where we need to go back to, and just obviously to some extent that is true. there needs to be greater security precisions put in place. that's the risk of actually having information get out that's classified as a nontrivial matter, but there is a real danger that we will undo many of the good steps taken, very difficult steps taken, to try to improve information sharing across our 17
agency-wide intelligence communities. finally, i think if you can tell by the u.s. government response, part of which was to shut down air force access at least as reported by the press to news websites and recommend that those who seek government careers not link to documents online, that our classification system itself is in great need of repair, that the idea that you can have an air force that is not allowed access to information that is in the public domain so that a first year undergraduate has better information, better intelligence about what's available than somebody in our u.s. air force tells you that our classification system is a 20th century classification system in a 21st century world. >> thank you, amy. >> thank you, kal, for including
me as the only nonucla participant. it's been awhile since i've given a talk with students on the floor. thank you for indulging us. i'll shift the focus more narrowly to the topic of the implications for u.s.-middle east policy. this is actually been one the major reefers where reporting on the leaks focused on and speaking to what amy referred to, one of the points i want to get across is the need for broader context because if you just look at the individual statements coming out in these reports which are quite inflammatory, particularly about iran to u.s. diplomats, you really miss the bigger picture, and you take -- sometimes you have a tendency to take these reports and cables as facts. as amy made clear, that's a big mistake and could lead potentially to basing our
policies on incomplete and faulty premises, and we need to be careful about that. what i want to do is really talk about two things. one, the most misleading i think narrative coming out of these reports, and secondly, the damage that this has done to u.s. diplomacy in the region, and i think it has bb significantly -- has been significantly undermind u.s. interests. in terms of the misleading part, the most misleading narrative coming out of the leagues is the notion that our united states-arab allies in the region, saudi arabia, egypt, the rest of the gulf, ect. are aligned in a unified front and would support a u.s. or israeli military attack on iran. this has been something that much of the reporting has suggested. the narrative goes something like israel is not the only state in the region worried about iran. in fact, some of the gulf states
may be more concerned about iran than israel putting arab states and israel on the same side, that the peace process is no longer the major problem in the region. the major challenge is iran and its nuclear efforts. it might not be surprising that the prime minister shortly after the reportings came out suggested some since of indication, you know, look, you know, we were telling you guys all along, israel is not the main problem in the reason. we're not the impediment, but the real problem is iran, and look, everybody else in the region thinks this, and so this is really, i think, led to an incomplete picture that needs to be corrected. nor the u.s. or israelis for that matter should be con come
complacent about this. first, what arab diplomats may say especially to u.s. officials in closed rooms is not always what these countries are going to do when push comes to shove. it is true, absolutely true, i'm not trying to deny that arab states are incredibly, sunni-arab states, but the ma majority of the reason are alarmed and worried about iran and its infiltration in the region, worried less about the threat per se because it's not a military threat, but they look at iran as an ideological threat, a power challenging their legitimacy, their influence, support to groups like hezbollah that resinate with populations in the region that try to undermind the credibility of ruling regimes in the region. this is really viewed the major
threat of iran, and since the 2003 iraq war, the way arabs look at it is iran has been the big winner. they are now not just a dominant player in their neighbor, iraq, their natural sphere of influence, but their reach and influence expands to the eastern med train mediterranean to gaza and lebanon, so i'm not trying to deny these countries are worried about this challenge. what i'm suggesting, though, is that this picture is much more nuanced. these countries do not view iran in similar ways. views about iran vary not just across the region and the gulf itself for that matter where you have sates like saudi arabia, bahrain with populations much more concerned about iran rather than smaller gulf states with
extensive political ties with the iranian regime. you have variation not just among governments, but between governments and people. i think this relates a little bit about what amy discussed on only getting the official view. you don't get the perspective of how the majority of people in this region and how the media in this region is reporting this issue, and it's a very different picture than the kind of reports that we might be reading in the "new york times" about this issue, so there's great variety in terms of the response toward iran. there has never been a unified front against iran, and i would venture to predict that there never will be a unified arab front against iran. if they raise policies on this premise, we're going to be in trouble. two, i think it's absolutely true that many arab regimes in particular have a great dislike
of iran as i made clear, not just because of persian divides that are long standing, but because of these very troublesome actions the iranians have been engaging in particularly over the last decade, but just because they don't like iran doesn't mean they like us, and doesn't mean that they're going to line up behind u.s. policies and lock step with us, so i think that's another point of caution that we need to draw from this episode. it's also important to remember that there is tremendous resentment of the united states in its policies in the region. president obama or no president obama public opinion ratings went slightly up. you know, there was some optimism when he came to office this would reverse course and policy, but when you look at surveys, the anti-american sentiments is as strong if not stronger than ever because folks have been bash and there's great disappointment with u.s. policy
in the region with a sense that nothing will ever change. that's the broader mass sentiments in the region. i think we can't underestimate that that factor in how the region ultimately will respond to iran including its leaders. finally, just because iran and israel are on the same side in terms of their concerns about iran in some sense, although not completely, doesn't mean that the arab israeli conflict is no longer an issue, that we should not be taking this lesson out of this episode which is what some people have targeted to suggest -- started to suggest. it's true that in conversations that some arab leaders have especially with american diplomats and officials, the focus is often going to be about iran. this makes perfect sense when the u.s. is in the region, the top officials are there every other week wratch eting up
pressure and so forth, but that doesn't mean conversations don't end by talking about the importance of the arab israeli con conflict. in my experience going through think-tanks and so forth, we talked about iran quite a bit, but we also usually end the conversation by hearing a lot of concern about the need for the united states to focus on resolving the israeli-palestinian conflict not because there's genuine concern about the welfare of the palestinians, but if nothing else, for instrumental reasons because people in the region, including leaders, think if you don't address this conflict, it feeds into iranian propaganda and outreach in the streets and feeds influence rather than underminding it especially in gaza and lebanon. timely, i want --
finally, i want to concludely reemphasizing the damaging aspects, not just the misleading narrative coming out of this episode, but the real damage this has done in terms of solidifying anti-american sentiments. the reporting in this region, i've referred to u.s. reporting, but the reporting in this region has really focused on how corrupt authoritarian governments are completely subservient to u.s. interests. this only reenforced the vulnerability of regimes that important to the united states, egypt, israel, saudi arabia. in fact, conspiracy theories are common in this region, and authorities accused or speculated that the wikileaks were actually a conspiracy by the u.s. and israel to try to, you know, ferment disarray and
attention and so forth -- tension, and so forth. in fact, they pointed to a fact there's not a lot of leaks about israel and use that as evidence to suggest this conspiracy to the point where now assange has defended this and said don't worry, more on israel to come later. [laughter] this way that the regional media and discussion is developing that is emphasizing conspiracies and subservients of their leadership to washington really reenforces this anti-american sentiments that is already so strong, and i think this is going to make arab leaders as much as they might talk tough in private, very, very careful about overt cooperation and alignment with united states and their policies in this region because they may not be democracies, these rulers are
somewhat still accountable to these populations and feel this pressure, and i think this will put a significant constraint more than had already existed on u.s. diplomatic efforts in the region. thanks. >> thank you, dalia. rob? >> thank you all the for coming. i'll offer some thoughts on implications of the wikileaks disclosures both for the u.s. and also for some other countries and for the international system. that sounds like a lot, but i'll over some brief thoughts. i say my thinking is evolving as i listen to the copanellists here, but i still find myself on the gate's end of the clinton-gates spectrum as amy laid out, and that is to say that i think it's very interesting to look at the coverage of wikileaks and the evolution of that coverage
because initially, the coverage was well, this is an earthquake, and u.s. diplomats were saying the sky is absolutely falling, and this is going to have dramatic effects on our ability to get things done, and i think the coverage there has really shifted, and the first thing i want to focus on is the actual content of the information conveyed by the document, and there, i think, while i have been following, i get up every morning, and i showbt p shouldn't be -- shouldn't be admitting, but i get up to see the new revelations and what was published on the wikileaks' website. i'm very interested, but kind of pay to be interested in this thing. there's not that there are not interesting things that have been revealed, but most of what has come out has been even the
more seemingly sensational revelations have been things that were either suspected or really were known by experts or even just people with a deep knowledge of the region's concerned. for instance, we learned that the u.s. was responsible for some of the bombing in yemen, that the meme yen government -- yemen government took credit for. there was definitely a suspicion already, so the fact now even if we don't know for sure that there's true, we think it's likely to be true. it was interesting to me. i didn't know that because i had not focused directly on that question, but i think people again who are regional specialists, they did on the whole know that, so it's not that there aren't some very interesting things that have
come out and maybe we learned a little bit how some world leaders have waived different -- weighed different policy options before them. we still don't exactly know, but maybe we know a little bit more how saudi arabia weighs some of the policy options before more so than we used to know. it's not a sea change. it's not like we discover they have views we had no absolute idea previously that they did have. on the one hand, i don't think that the content of the information to the communities who are already deeply engaged in the issues is really that substantial. on the other hand, i think there have been some positive aspects in terms of perception of the u.s. and the world.
to be honest, i expected especially following the initial reporting and the coverage on the wikileaks' website itself. i'll read to you a little bit, but i expected there to be more revelations that were very damaging to the u.s. and show the u.s. doing one thing in public and another thing in private, so, for instance, on the wikileaks' website it says the following, "the cable shows the extent of the u.s. spying and turning human rights abuse. back room deals with supposedly neutral countries, and to advance those who have access to them." there was a real targeting of the united states in concept here, and there i'm not sure that the wikileaks has really hit that target because yes, it's true that the u.s. can be
seen exerting influence, but is anybody surprised that the u.s. is exerting influence? yes, it's true that let's take central asia, the u.s. is cooperating a great deal with some states in that region, and yes, it's in competition with russia for influence there and the u.s. has made some morally ambiguous choices there, but well, why did it make the choices? for instance, one country the u.s. is cooperating with because the u.s. has a base there that's supplying thousands of u.s. troops in afghanistan, so the u.s. is cooperating with a leader who is antidemocratic, but here, again, we knew that. even i knew that one already, so that, again, is not a major revelation that the u.s. is doing that. it puts it on the front page of the paper, but it doesn't, to me, it doesn't tell that much information to people who are
already engaged in the area. let's see, just a couple of other points. so far we have at least this morning last chance i looked, there were 1999 cables released of over 251,000 cables, so a lot more to come, but keep in mind that five newspapers around the world have had the full set of those cables, and they've been going over them now for more than a month, so my guess is, and here is, you know, something i could be wrong about, but my guess is the biggest revelations, particularly about u.s. diplomacy are already made public and there's probably a lot more to come about other countries around the world, so, i think, for instance, let's think on central asia, i know that or arm communities are
interested in what they were really saying about the recent elections because there's been reporting about antidemocratic practices by the regime there, but so far the u.s. has not been willing to be critical at all of the country, therefore, again reasons that are relatively parole relatively transparent in terms of u.s. geopolitical interest in the region, but that will be huge news for communities that are trying to galvanize world opinion for in some cases for one cause or another. that's just one example, but i'm expecting many, many more revelations that will be very important to many other countries around the world which in a sense isn't that surprising
because these are cables that are being sent back in large part by u.s. ambassadors and other staff in other places, some of the cables from u.s. secretary state in washington, but a lot of it is their observations about what they see elsewhere, so it's not that surprising that many of the most dramatic revelations are really about the u.s. views on other places and not really so much about what the u.s. itself is doing. that's not, you know, there's also some interesting cables that come from the u.s. that are action requests, and many of those actually as well. all right. so that's a little bit about the impact of the specific information that was disclosed. if leaks like this were to become the norm, i think there would be some very significant implications. i think there would be less
transparency within the government because as otherwise panelists mentioned, there would be less ability to share information within the government, and all information would be a bit more on lockdown, and, of course, we'll see some move in that direction if we see the move as amy said too far in that direction probably not in the u.s. interests. another, i suspect a very important point, is that u.s. personnel around the world will be understandably redissent to put more details in their report, and my suspicion is that could have significant effects, that each diplomat in each foreign local will be more law
untoe themselves as were prior to the late 19th century enthe invention of the telegraph because once there was a direct link with a foreign diplomat and the home office or the secretary of state of the state department, the ability for some diplomat off somewhere else to make u.s. policy on the fly or make policy of their countries on the fly was much restricted. just to give you one example, and this is one coming from some time ago, middle of the 19th century was the crimian war. most his tore yaps say there was a british diplomat out there with a particular view of what the british should do vis-a-vis russia. basically he was there in
istanbul encouraging turkey to be resistant to russian demands in order to precipitate a war. he was clear on that. the british foreign office what canning was doing. it's not that the entire cause for the war can be laid at his feet, but he was very, very important to bringing on the war, so again, another sort of transparency that probably will actually be reduced, i think, if these sort of leaks become more than norm. just to close, i think the sky is not falling. i think that dip mr. mat -- diplomats have been shocked at the idea what they consider to be some of the most private moments in their lives can be exposed to public view has been
very upsetting to the diplomatic community, but nevertheless, the sky is not falling and while a continuation of leaks on this scale would have, i think, some very serious consequences, the fact that the sky is not falling in my view and maybe this is something we'll come back to probably indicates that a little bit less secrecy in diplomatic practice is possible and even desirable. >> perfect, thank you, rob. again, i thank all three of the pammists, and they -- panelists, and they gave us a lot of food for thought. i have a few questions for each of them and the group as a whole, and then we'll turn it over to the audience, so let me start with amy. you made a lot of interesting points, but one thing that struck me you said we think of wikileaks as a transparency
driven organization, that is as they describe it. the revelations actually obscured some of the realities of american foreign policy, so i really want to pose this to all three of you. what realities do you think are being obscured, and what are the most significant ones we ought to be paying attention to? >> well, i think dalia hit on some of the most important realities that what we get from the documents is an incomplete official view and what is missing from the documents is the view of the street, the view of public opinion, some of those intangible, and i argue the official view is probably incomplete, so i would caution very strenuously against making any kind of consideration of what our next steps in foreign policy should be whether it's to the middle east or any other region based on what these documents reveal because they don't tell you what's not in
them. they tell you one person's perspective of what was there. you have a two-fold problem that focus on official communication opposed to what the masses are feeling, and the fact that that official community cation is itself inheritly incomplete and void of context. >> thank you. rob, dalia? want to add anything? >> i think amy said it. i want to emphasize the point at the official level i don't think we're always getting the complete picture, again just reenforcing the fact these reports of the cables and the cables themselves are not the truth. this is not, you know, the authority that what is most important and gets to rob's points, it may be that there's not so much new information coming out of the reports, but it's the narratives developing around them, and i think that's
what we have to be careful. i focused on middle east and other policy issues around the world, i think they are starting conversations that start to lead people into believing that there are some realities that really aren't there. i focus on the fact there is this notion that if the u.s. and israel strikes iran that we would get widespread regional support. that's danger; right? that's a dangerous assumption. that's not something the reports told us as fact, but it's discussed as interpretation in reports that's taken as an assumption that's viewed as valid in many quarters. we have to be careful about that. >> can i say one more thing? >> sure. >> the area that's most dangerous here is trying to discern intentions of foreign governments whether they are allies or adversaries, and an exercise i do with my students in class i ask them if you were
to take a piece of paper and predict what you are to do for your next holiday vacation a year from now, write it down, and come back a year from now, did you do what you wrote down? a big percentage says no because your life changes and views change. this is you judging your own intentions a year from now. now imagine the u.s. government trying to judge the intentions of other countries. that has some incentive actually to deceive the united states about what their true intentions would be. i think that's the area in which taking these documents as fact becomes most dangerous for national security. >> if you like? >> well, i agree with all of that, and i think that it's almost like everybody has been empowered around the world to be
their own private historian, and that's great, you know, but, of course, history is a hard thing. it's fought over even hundreds of years after the fact. historians are still trying to figure out the war and what led to the crimian war and what leaders' intelligences were in taking certain actions, and in these documents i just want to emphasize on what was said that the discussions that are talked about in the documents are spinning in some particular way to suit their interests. they are saying things to the u.s. because they may want the u.s. to believe something, for instance. that doesn't necessarily mean that's exactly what their policy is, so it tells us something perhaps about what was said in a particular meeting, but even in that meeting whether or not the
u.s. diplomat who, for instance, is sending back a cable gave an exact account of what happened or an account that as has been mentioned suited their interest is open to question. the april glasby case prior to the first gulf war where many people after iraq released its version of things, many people said, well, she seemed to say that it would be all right if iraq invaded kuwait, and the u.s. government defended ambassador and said no, she didn't say that, and now with wikileaks just a couple of days ago we saw finally because it was never before released, the u.s. side of that conversation, and we can see the two sides do not exactly match, so do they
not match because the u.s. side a right and the iraqi side is wrong or because one side was spinning one way and the other side was spinning the other way? we still don't know. . . >> that's the nature of communication. people are going to disagree about what happened. but it also seems true that in
some ways wikileaks is like a microcosm of the internet where there's a flood of information, a lot of it is untrue, a lot of it is true, discerning between the two is very, very difficult. of course, the public in general is not so sophisticated about discerning. they're just sort of rating things so they are reacting. so i'm curious about how those reactions are going to shape the conduct of diplomacy about the tranny in years to come. dalia, you want to opine on the? >> that have been a couple of immediate effects. think some more symbolic. for example, the president of yemen refused to meet the assistant secretary of state recently because of these leaks. i think that a lot of this is posturing again the officials are being cautious. they do want to publicly portray themselves as being so subservient to washington. i think these will fade but i think as you said, the deeper effects will be at a broader
level among population. and in the case of the middle east, i think it really has -- it's not that it has changed impressions, it's just reinforced already pretty negative ones is what i was suggesting. this is not a good thing for u.s. diplomacy. i think the u.s. is making an effort to do a lot of things that try to present an image of united states acting in the region in a way that isn't just propping up government. these large arms sales don't help that, that perception, but there is a lot of financial aid, development assistance. there's a lot of recognition among american diplomats that the people in this region really look at these kinds of episodes at america just dealing with thesthese airy corrupt illegitie leaderships it and they are forgetting about the people's interest. has been an effort to try to counter that. i know you have a session on public diplomacy. we need work in the area. this is a tough region to do it. so i think these wikileaks has
undermined those efforts to the extent they're getting traction, and i think they were not getting much traction but to the extent they were tempted, i think this undermines efforts of the tranny and its diplomats to present the united states as being a force for good that we are, we care about the welfare of people, we care about developing society, we care about the employment issues and social issues. and really reinforces the narrative that we're propping up these really horrible regimes that are abusive, corrupt, illegitimate. and really neglected people. and so i think again, i mean, i see -- not supporting rob's point, not that there's anything new but reinforcing very negative trends that were already there. >> row, i want to ask you, you put it out and i agree that specialist knew or suspected a lot of what is in the leaks. but again that's not the case for a broader public.
they were not following the story necessary before. so, so that does seem to undercut a bit of the argument that you channeling secretary gates, these are modest, not sufficient. yes, not so significant for some, maybe more significant for others. how do you react to that? >> i agree with it. sorry, i'm into sort of limit it to more narrowly on just implications in terms of what we learned about what wikileaks is doing around the world. again, i do also want to emphasize in fact that i think the implications for maybe domestic politics in other places are quite extreme. i mean, you know, what some publics have now understood about what their own leaders is doing to them is certainly news. and likely to change politics in many countries around the world. just to get your point in terms of what that means from the u.s.
diplomacy, you know, i can't i just see going in many directions at once. i think that some areas of cooperation where other countries were cooperating with the u.s., and now, and they were willing to do that but not willing to do it in a public way. what was it, this mark said about france in the 19th century? friends likes me but she's not willing to go out in public with me. it's a bit that way for the united states. and now that this, these closed-door dealings have been revealed i think some of those areas of cooperation will probably end. at the same time, i think it's entirely unlikely that in some cases it will be harder for leaders to very cynically take sort of anti-u.s. positions in public when in private they clearly are dealing very
directly with the united states. and that again is not entirely a bad thing for u.s. diplomacy and for u.s. public diplomacy for that matter. that's just to see some silver lining. it's not to say that there are not some very negative impressions that have also been reinforced. >> amy, you want to weigh in on the issue? good. so it's time for a few questions from the audience. again, we have a handheld microphone, so please raise your hand and then let me bring the microphone over. let's start off in the very back. keep your hand up there in the back. perfect. >> hi. thank you so much for this really interesting event. >> leverages remind you that that mic is not amplified so even if you don't have a mic, you have to talk into it speak on what a thing of the panels can respond to kind of the idea that julian assange represents not so much american desire for transparency and you in foreign
policy but global desire for transparency but also other any alternatives to wikileaks in getting to that transparency for people are so angry at american foreign policy? >> could you repeat the question? >> my question is about the idea that julian assange doesn't represent u.s. desire -- american desire for more transparency, but a global desire for transparency in american foreign policy. and i want the panelists to say if they have any ideas about how, if there could be an alternative to wikileaks to provide that kind of transparency to the rest of the world. >> i would just note briefly that there already are alternatives to wikileaks. some started by former associates of julian assange. so i think whatever happened to him or to wikileaks, this is probably the new normal that we will have to live with spent i think dalia has put her finger on this, we live in kind of a
paradoxical world where because of the united states is a democracy and we have so much transparency, we can see lots of things happening on the house and senate floor that perhaps we don't want to see. that the domestic political ramifications of wikileaks did not appear to be terribly huge for us. but the paradox is that in states that are not democratic, the potential for the wikileaks effect is much greater for their domestic politics, right? so if you're not an elected leader in the middle east, you're really worried about your vulnerability as dalia knows better than anybody because of this pressure from the street. in some ways you're more worried about the street because you are not legitimately elected and if you were legitimately elected. so i think that's the fundamental paradox to your point about global transparency, not so much in u.s. domestic politics but certainly in other countries. >> i would just add it's not just the street that is a concern but opposition groups who are already utilizing this political football as a way to
count and delegitimize some of the ruling leaderships. i do want to get into specifics but in cases of gaza and the fatah and hamas divide, this is already being utilized in lebanon. this is being utilized. so i think that we're going to see a lot more of this. so, i don't know if there's a global desire for transparency. certainly in these domestic conflicts there are a lot of actors who are worried about how this is going to be used against them are but i do think amy is right it will have probably a bigger effect on some of these countries than in our own country. >> well, i guess i think unfortunately there's a need for some secrecy and diplomacy. unless we sort of altered the system of states and totally radical fashion. states have an interest in some secrecy, and in many cases secrecy serves the side of peace
between nations. i mean, i can list many, many examples of that for you. so, i think we are going to have secrecy. and since we do have secrecy we're going to have conspiracy theories. you're never going to get away from that. so i really don't think there's anything to be done about that. on the other hand, however, i think that you know, again these leaks have shown us in my view that we can have some more transparency. in fact, i think in many cases basically we've had quite a lot of transparency. and some conspiracy theories want to find quite a lot of evidence against indies cables. that's not to say that's going to end the conspiracy theories, but there's a lot of evidence. you know, for instance, take the u.s.-china relationship to everything that i've seen in the cables has been the u.s. trying to establish as close as
possible relations with china, even though they continue to have these differences in interest. so the theory that says the u.s. is just tried to keep china down, well, there's no evidence for that in these. so, you know, in all honesty while the u.s. is not being entirely clear, certainly, it's not advertising some of its relations with autocratic governments, let's say, is not advertising that, in but who wants to know can already know to a large degree what's really going on there. so i don't think we will get away from it. probably the u.s. could do a little more than it is doing now, but i think if it did more there would still be conspiracy theories. >> next question.
>> i would like to move the debate to a broader aspects, talk about journalism. there's a lot of discussion over all about the decline of journalism of newspapers. and it seems that in this case there is some kind of a shift where it's journalism, the journalistic newspaper of the "new york times," "the guardian," the other generals are not providing reporting but analysis because there's so much data that nobody reads the data. everybody reads the analogies. and i was wondering how do you perceive the impact of wikileaks? and as rob suggests there may be more leaks impacting the journalism and newspapers as a whole. >> that's an interesting question. rob admitted to reading the cable itself directly. [laughter] so he's not the only one. but let me suggest that you say that question for our next panel because when we have jeff cowan in particular, he will be very well suited to answer that. i don't want to cut off for
panelists if they want, but it's not our area of expertise. so with your agreement we will say that for next time. others? of the questions? here in the middle. can you raise your hand a little higher and wait for the microphone. thank you. >> i was wondering if this new world that we are living in is going to be, the leaks are going to be a part of the normal culture in the world? and how likely is it for diplomats to adapt to this new world and start crafting leaks that they want to do that? is that possible? is that unethical? is it responsible? what is the panels fought on the? >> that's an excellent question. >> i think it's clear it is possible, and that it is already happening. but the other part -- i certainly would like to others. the other part to your question is particularly interesting.
is it responsible or unethical. >> we live in a world already where leaks are a common phenomenon where government officials are strategically leaking information. that's what we read about in the newspapers. that's what we read about in the mainstream media. and one of the most interesting pieces i've seen on wikileaks was on jack goldsmith's blog where he talks about his concern that there could be a double standard applied, that we have high ranking government officials who strategically leak frequently in order to advance certain policies, or try to get advantage for their policy preferences in washington. are they going to be prosecuted? if julian assange is prosecuted. is there going to be a double standard for someone like him or for journalists compared to the lakers in government if you're a higher level official, doesn't somehow make it okay where as if you're a lower level military enlisted person as private manning is. that's different ask of these
are really are found and important questions. and i don't think we have a sense of what the answers are. but i thought jack's blog was really thought-provoking entrance of if you think about what you read in the newspapers today, you're talking about a typical article is a something, i'm just making this up, that we are going to increase the rate of predator drone attacks in afghanistan in the next six months, as part of our stretch. let's say hypothetically that's in the "new york times" or the "washington post" or the "l.a. times." that's really important that is information in the ideal world the american government would not like our adversaries to know. in terms of immediate damage with goldsmith argues, a story like that is far more potentially damaging immediately to u.s. national security than older documents that are dumped on the internet by wikileaks. what do we do about that? many people would argue we don't need to know that information but it does raise all sorts of questions, legal, political,
moral, ethical that we're beginning to try to grapple with. >> well, i really agree with that so i will pass and move on to another question. >> i think we have time for one last question. where is our microphone? thank you. >> i was wondering if you believe that julian assange has dramatically underestimated the cynicism of the american public? as you mentioned because we live in a 24 hour news cycle, and because there's so much information available to everyone on the internet it's very difficult to discern fact from fiction. and with this large dump of information, i'm wondering if we have sort of lost the ability to be outraged about anything
anymore. [laughter] >> who wants to go first. >> i think it's a good point. [laughter] >> i don't know if there is much else to say. i guess i would say it's a really interesting point. one of the surprising things in the journalism world over the past year was a top secret american series that ran in the "washington post," extraordinary series about the rise of contracting in the intelligence world. it took lots, years of analysis. it was a dana priest and, and it was an incredible series, and yet what really struck people that talk to in washington about the series is how quickly it died. the fact that it didn't have legs, people were up in arms about. and what rob has been alluding to. expert in field have known about this for a long time. it was not news in the
intelligence world that contractors had ballooned in both the number and in budgets. so this is not news. but it really, aside from actually being a major topic of conversation at the confirmation hearings of the director of national intelligence, it really didn't have a lot of leg. so perhaps we are harder to outrage today than we have been in the past. >> that was his pointer to point have been, and, of course, we don't know the motives behind this band. but really to embarrass us globally which we have been discussing which is why the ramifications are so much greater abroad than they are here at home. >> well, i think it was just exactly the right question to add. i guess i just think that it's hard to be outraged at something that you know happens everyday. you know, i'm a vegetarian, for
moral reasons. you know, it doesn't make sense to me that people eat meat, but i don't get outraged at my friends because they need, because i know it's happening every day. so i guess that's a sort of mostly how i feel about that. but on the other hand, could we have a more, a u.s. foreign policy or other foreign policies, could they be, could they still advocate for their interests and take a moral proponent into account? yes, yes, they could. and maybe there will be some specific areas where people can galvanize and apply pressure and say hey, here's a u.s. policy with respect to this country, and the u.s. didn't need to be quite so amoral in that case. and that would be great if that were to happen. i mean, just in terms of my
personal reaction, often the sort of moralistic reactions can be overly simplistic, or at least don't take into account the real reasons why this policy was chosen in particular case. lsa the u.s. interest involves. but these documents may give people an opportunity to object in more informed way. >> well, i want to thank all three of our panelists. unfortunately, we are at the end of our hour. actually a little bit past it. so please join in thanking them for a terrific session. [applause] and again leading urge you to come to our next session on this which will begin the 20th, a thursday with jeff and derek. thank you all for coming. [inaudible conversations]
>> there's anyway to get a concise review of the days events. it's washing today on c-span radio. every weekday we'll take you to capitol hill, the white house and anywhere news is happening. would also talk with the experts, politicians and the journalists as we put the days events into perspective. the stories that matter to you the most every weekday on c-span
radio. you can listen in the washington baltimore area. you can download the program every evening as they c-span podcast. >> it is critically important that the house move the cr to avoid a government shutdown. >> we all have a responsibility to make sure that there is no government shutdown. >> with concerns about a possible government shutdown see what was that when the federal government did shut down in 1995 online at the c-span video library with every program since 1987. search, watch, clip and share any time, it's washington your way. >> should judges have to run for reelection or be appointed for life? should tv cameras be allowed in
court? a few of the subjects during this discussion at the santa clara university school of law in california your we would hear the views of the chief judge of the ninth circuit court of appeals, as well as the newly sworn in chief justice of the california supreme court. this is 90 minutes. >> we are going to get started. thank you. thank you everyone for coming. my name is dennis brown. as president, i am pleased to welcome you to the angel ingram symposium. the ingram symposium is part dedicate to the founder. judge ingram not only exemplified the values of our and such as professionalism, service and collegiality, as was stability but served as a mentor to many of us, myself included.
in fact, i had a great honor of serving as a judicial extern to him many, many years ago when i was in law school. i learned more, i often said i learned more in the summer about being a lawyer that i did in my entire tenure in law school. he was a great influence on me and on many, many others. now, before we can start i would like to thank our cosponsors in this event, the palo alto bar association and also our host, santa clara university school of law. which is as many of you know celebrated its 100th anniversary this year, so it is quite a milestone. now a couple of quick housekeeping notes. cards are being passed out so that you can write questions and direct them to the panelists. what we would like for you to do is write your questions out and pass them to one of these to center i always hear about how people come by and pick them up. they will sort them and then bring them up so they can be addressed.
one other quick housekeeping note, for those of you interested in credits, this event does qualify so make sure that you sign in. as i would say if you didn't sign in, you were not here. so thank you for that. okay. let me now introduce our distinguished panel. we are thrilled here tonight to welcome our newest chief justice of the california supreme court, justice tani cantil-sakauye. [applause] >> before i give you a brief background on her, let me just say that i've got to admit i was a little nervous when i was asked to introduce are here tonight. i mean, let's face it, first it's not everyday that you have to introduce a chief justice of the supreme court. at least not for me. but more to the point, i'll be
honest, i was concerned i would butcher her name. [laughter] >> lets face it, it's not like brown. so, i did what we all did here in the 21st century. i googled her. i wanted to find how she pronounces her name. and i wasn't surprised when i did so that there were several sites that mentioned exactly how her name is pronounced here and since most of them seem to agree with each other i figured i was probably going to be okay. but what surprised me was when i did google her, there was an entry from pharmacy.com associate with her name. so i clicked on it. well, i was surprised to learn that at the bottom -- by the way, i'm not making this a. i brought this because i know but -- i knew nobody would believe you. at the bottom of this long list of all sorts of different medications, i was surprised to read that, quote, tani
cantil-sakauye may cause dizziness, drowsiness, or lightheadedness and maybe worse if you consume alcohol. [laughter] >> tonight, you get to be the judge. [inaudible] >> our new chief justice was born and raised in sacramento and received both her undergraduate and jd degrees from uc davis. she was appointed by governor schwarzenegger to the third appellate district, court of appeal in 2005. her term as chief justice begin at just nine days ago on january 3, as chief justice she also chairs the judicial council of california as well as the commission on judicial appointment. welcome, adam chief justice. -- madame chief justice. [applause] >> we are equally thrilled to have our next panel is with us,